Back in February the action camera industry leader, GoPro dropped hints that the company planned to go public in the near future, and reports released yesterday, May 19 show that the time for them to do so has come. On May 19 GoPro filed its first S-1 with the securities and exchange commission, and in doing so has promised to raise $100 million in its initial public offering.
The world of action cameras has become a big business in a relatively short amount of time, and the GoPro brand has become synonymous with the niche market for such devices. In 2013 GoPro shipped nearly 4 million of its GoPro cameras worldwide, and the company's sales hit $986 million, with profits of $60.6 million. There are now many competing devices hitting the market and it shows. GoPro just reported first quarter sales of $236 million, which is down from $255 million in Q1 of 2013. Net profits have also taken a hit, dropping to $11 million, compared to $23 million in Q1 of 2013, so how are GoPro going to continue growing the brand?
GoPro was founded by its current CEO Nicholas Woodman after he needed a find a waterproof camera to take with him while surfboarding, and after coming up with a solution, Woodman started on his journey to becoming one of the most successful technology startup founders in recent history. After using what little cash he and his family had to develop and promote the camera, Woodman struck a deal to partner with Foxconn in 2012, Woodman and GoPro filed for their IPO back in February and the company hasn't looked back since.
Current CEO and founder of GoPro, Nicholas Woodman plans to innovate and bring new camera technologies to the market by increasing their research and development, in fact Woodman has said he expects spending on research and development to balloon. There is no doubt that his plan will be made harder by other manufacturers who want a slice of the action camera market, with Sony, Garmin, Polaroid, and even HP trying to get new video camera hardware to the marketplace.
There have been three successful GoPro cameras so far, and with the much hyped GoPro Hero 4 due to be released sometime this year, the action camera segment will really heat up. The GoPro Hero 4 will supposedly be powered by a new A9 SoC processor, and will be capable of recording video in 4K at 30fps, while keeping features such as built-in wi-fi. No matter what happens, you will soon be seeing GPRO on your local NASDAQ ticker.