British music hardware startup Electric Jukebox says it has raised $14 million and plans to go public next year

Electric JukeboxElectric JukeboxA promotional image for Electric Jukebox.

LONDON — Electric Jukebox, the British music hardware startup that makes a television set-top box for music streaming, says it plans to go public in the first half of 2018.

The company makes a box that plugs into televisions which lets you use your television to navigate a music streaming service.

The device costs £199 and doesn’t require a monthly subscription.

It has raised $US14 million and claims it’s going to IPO

Electric Jukebox said that it has raised $US14 million (£10.8 million) in funding from investors including CEO Rob Lewis, 50 high net worth individuals, and previous investor YOLO Leisure & Technology.

YOLO Leisure & Technology is controlled by entrepreneur Nigel Wray, and a spokesperson for YOLO said the company owns 41% of Electric Jukebox.

Electric Jukebox said that it intends to IPO in the first half of 2018 and list on AIM in London.

Stephen Fry with the Electric JukeboxElectric JukeboxStephen Fry with his Electric Jukebox.

One rumour that has been floated before on how Electric Jukebox could go public is through a reverse takeover, which would involve it buying a company that’s already public. However, Electric Jukebox denied that it plans to go public through that method and instead said that “the company is now planning an independent IPO in the first half of 2018. It will be an independent IPO not a reverse, despite earlier press coverage to the contrary.”

Electric Jukebox’s journey to market was long and confusing

The product was first announced in a London press conference in October 2015 that featured singer Alesha Dixon and comedian Alexander Armstrong.

The initial launch date was Christmas 2015, but it was then delayed to Easter 2016. That release date fell through as well, and the product was finally released in November 2016.

Alesha Dixon at the Electric Jukebox launchBusiness Insider/James CookSinger Alesha Dixon during the launch of Electric Jukebox.

A US launch was also announced during the Electric Jukebox launch event, but it’s only just happening — nearly two years after it was announced. Other changes made by the company include renaming the product to “ROXI” and cutting the pink version of its hardware.

Celebrities and music industry figures have backed Electric Jukebox

Robbie Williams with the Electric JukeboxElectric JukeboxRobbie Williams.

The company has relied on high-profile backers to raise its profile. Former Take That singer Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow, “Strictly Come Dancing” star Dixon, and Stephen Fry all posed for product photos with the device.

The launch event was introduced by Armstrong and then-culture secretary John Whittingdale.

Electric Jukebox said that its celebrity backers all have stakes in the business, along with other music industry and technology names including former U2 manager Paul McGuiness, former Bon Jovi manager David Munns, and TomTom founder Mark Gretton.

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