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  • Profiteer of (Streaming) Wars 📺

Profiteer of (Streaming) Wars 📺

PLUS: The Startup VC Inception 💰

Hi Everyone. This is Take Off. We're like a hidden Easter egg in your favorite video game - surprising, delightful, and adding an extra layer of fun to your tech news consumption.

Here's what we're serving up today:

  • Profiteer of (Streaming) Wars 📺

  • The Startup VC Inception 💰

  • Asteroids ☄️

Profiteer of (Streaming) Wars 📺

Do us a favor. Switch on your Smart TV and check the name of the OS. We bet you a Taco Bell chalupa that it’s probably Roku.

Humble Beginnings

Roku started out as an internal project at Netflix and was spun out as its own company in 2008. And almost 16 years later, the company has marked itself as a crucial enabler of the TV streaming revolution.

Roku started its journey selling Roku Boxes, a hardware device that would enable you to access streaming services on your TV. 

The company then started pivoting to selling co-branded and eventually branded Roku TVs as the Smart TV revolution came about. 

However, Roku isn’t in the hardware business. Infact, it loses money on every TV sold. But that’s alright. 

Because for Roku, selling TVs isn’t the end game.

Profiteer of Wars

You’ve heard it before - the clichèd ‘Streaming Wars’. They rage on as much as ever with pretty much every major media company having added their own streaming platform to the mix. 

But while all the big names have a turf war for subscribers and fight to win the biggest share of those streaming hours - Roku isn’t too worried. 

Why? Because they ARE the turf.

They are the gatekeepers for content discovery and consumption where consumers are spending the most time watching it - the TV. 

Roku controls the limited real estate of the homepage across ~30% of American TVs. And that’s where its biggest leverage comes into play.

Roku isn’t in the business of selling TVs - because it’s in the business of selling ads. 

The company’s platform segment - which includes advertising and content distribution has undergone a remarkable revolution. 

In 2017, the revenue split between devices and platform was 1:1. Fast forward to 2023, and the platform biz commands 85% of the total revenue. 

Being the default platform for more than a third of US TVs has placed the company well to serve the plethora of streaming as a distribution medium for these competitors. 

And Roku isn’t just stopping there. They recently launched The Roku Channel to enter into the content business. 

They’ve also started displaying ads on their famous Roku City screensaver.

They’re also announcing a lineup of premium TVs. This is part of their strategy to get its TV and by definition, their platform into as many homes as possible. 

In partnership with

Only a couple days left to invest in this smart home startup.

The ball-park isn’t the only place to look for home runs. Best Buy has a proven record of placing early bets on home-tech products that go on to dominate the market.

  • Ring - acquired by Amazon for $1.2B

  • Nest - acquired by Google for $3.2B

Early investors in these companies are sitting on some serious returns - but for the rest of us, there's still a chance to get in on the action with RYSE.

History tends to repeat itself, and RYSE's launch in +100 Best Buys points towards their company being the next home run.

Their Smart Shade tech is poised to dominate an industry growing at 50% annually, and there's still time to invest in their $1.50/share public offering.

The Startup VC Inception💰

Have you ever heard of a Russian doll? You know, those cute little dolls that keep popping out smaller versions of themselves? 

Well, it seems like the VC world had its own ‘Russian Doll’ moment.

The Era of Free Money

Let’s roll back the clock to 2021. It was a time when startups were juicing on VC cash like a kid on a sugar rush. 

That resulted in those startups turning into mini VCs, investing in …. wait for it …. other startups.

Case in Point
Coinbase, before strutting on the stock market, went on a shopping spree, bagging stakes in not 1, not 2, but 23 companies in just the first quarter of 2021. 

The Era of Expensive Money

But with all good parties, the lights eventually come on. The end of the ZIRP era (Zero Interest Rate Policy, for those snoozing in economics class) made borrowing cash expensive.

With the downturn in venture activity, startups are now scrambling to raise money for themselves, let alone raise it to invest in other companies.

Case in Point
Bytedance, Stripe and Flexport were one of the most active startup VCs in 2021 but have slowed their investment activities significantly.

But why play the VC in the first place? Large startups have engaged in venture investing to stay on top of emerging market trends and at the same time, these deals were also bets on the startups themselves, the growth of their ecosystems (like crypto), and potential financial returns. 

But with unicorns facing pressure to maintain their lofty valuations, private companies and their venture arms are reevaluating their strategies.

Ride the wave of 23% compounded annual growth

That’s the forecasted growth rate of the smart shades between 2023-2033. And RYSE’s automated window shade tech is positioned to dominate the market. They’ve generated over 20X growth in share price for early shareholders, with significant upside remaining as they launch in over 100 Best Buy stores. Invest in the rapidly growing smart shades market →

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