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Roku’s Billionaire Founder Gains $645 Million After Stock Surge

Roku’s Billionaire Founder Gains $645 Million After Stock Surge

Roku’s billionaire founder and CEO, Anthony Wood, got richer on Friday after his streaming video platform reported its highest-revenue growth rate since going public in 2017.

The company announced blowout first-quarter earnings after the market closed on Thursday, sending its stock surging on Friday morning. Shares of Roku rose by around 12% as of 3:15 p.m. EDT, pushing Wood’s net worth up by $645 million. His fortune now stands at $6.4 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates.

Roku’s stock rose by as much as 15% earlier on Friday, before paring back gains slightly. The streaming video platform’s first-quarter revenue grew by 79% from last year, to just over $574 million—its highest revenue growth rate since going public. Roku also raised its second-quarter revenue guidance.

The company has continued to get a big boost from stay-at-home customers watching more streaming content during the Covid-19 pandemic. It added 2.4 million active accounts compared to the prior quarter, bringing its total number of accounts to 53.6 million.

Wood started and then sold DVR company ReplayTV (an early competitor to TiVo TIVO 0.0%) before eventually founding Roku in 2002. The company is best known for manufacturing digital media players that users can plug into their TVs to stream content, but a big chunk of its revenue comes from selling advertisements on streaming channels. 

Roku has been focused on growing its advertising business as marketers increasingly switch to digital media. The company recently acquired Nielsen’s advanced video advertising business and has been investing in more content. Roku purchased the rights to defunct streaming service Quibi’s content for under $100 million in January 2021.

Shares of Roku went on a tear last year, as the market rebounded from its pandemic low point in March 2020. Like many other companies benefiting from the stay-at-home economy during Covid-19, Roku’s stock skyrocketed, rising more than 100% last year alone. 

The fortune of Roku’s CEO, Wood, has jumped in tandem: His net worth has increased by $5 billion since April 2020.

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