Picture this: GoPro files for US$100m IPO

20 May 2014

Pictured: A skier with GoPro 3 mounted directly on the ski tip

Extreme sports camera maker GoPro is planning to raise up to US$100m through an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

The San Mateo, California-headquartered company, whose lightweight cameras feature in rugged sports and can be attached to drones, in its S-1 filing reported 2013 revenues of US$985.7m, up 87.4pc on the previous year.

EBITDA in 2013 was US$133,726, up from US$75,288 a year earlier.

Surfing enthusiast Nick Woodman founded GoPro in 2002 after he was disappointed at how difficult it was to capture and share quality action photos from a surfing holiday in Australia.

He initially raised money for the company by selling bead and shell belts from his Volkswagen van, whereupon he hit upon the idea of creating a fashionable strap to attach to a camera.

The company sold its first camera system – a 35mm film version – in 2004, before evolving to creating digital versions that could record 10-second clips that could be transferred to 3-megapixel cameras.

GoPro produced its first HD device in 2009 and since then it has sold more than 8.5m HD cameras, including 3.8m in 2013 in more than 100 countries and across 25,000 retail stores.

According to NPD Group, GoPro was the No 1 selling camcorder in the US in 2013, and its HERO cameras represented a 45pc share of the US camcorder market.

gopro on a drone

As well as making compelling camcorders, the company is morphing into a software player. Its GoPro Studio enables users to quickly edit simple or complex videos and create videos from time-lapse photo sequences.

At the end of March there were more than 4.3m downloads of GoPro Studio. During the first quarter of 2014, users exported on average, 20,000 videos per day using GoPro Studio.

The company’s GoPro App lets users wirelessly copy footage from a GoPro camera to mobile devices.

GoPro images via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years