initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Saturday, February 8, 2014

GoPro Plans To Go Public, Files Confidential IPO Docs

The San Mateo, Calif.-based action camera company announced today in a press release that it had filed confidential initial public offering documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell its common stock. In order to file for a confidential IPO under the JOBS Act, a company must have less than a $1 billion in sales.

GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman poses with his signature camera.

Last year, Founder and CEO Nick Woodman told FORBES that the company sold 2.3 million cameras, grossing more than $520 million in 2012. That continued a trend of doubling annual revenues since the company debuted its first camera–a 35 mm film device–in 2004. Given the company’s confidential filing, it appears that GoPro did not double revenues in 2013, despite selling $100 million in cameras last January, according to CEO Woodman.

A company spokesperson declined to comment. As of last week, company representatives denied that the company had plans to go public in the near future. Other technology firms who filed for an IPO under the JOBS Act in the last year include Twitter and Box, an online storage company.

debuting his first camera--the GoPro 35mm Hero--in September 2004 at San Diego's Action Sports Retailer trade show.

According to Woodman in interviews last February, GoPro, “has been profitable since day one.” Bootstrapped by its founder since its early days, the company has only had two rounds of outside funding, the latest a $200 million investment by Chinese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn, in Dec. 2012. That investment valued the company at $2.25 billion and made 38-year-old Woodman, who sources say owns about 45% of the company, a billionaire.

Woodman's father Dean was a prominent Silicon Valley investment banker for Robertson, Colman, Stephens & Woodman and brokered Pepsi's purchase of Taco Bell in the 1970s. Dean Woodman was one of the earliest investors in GoPro, providing his son with two $100,000 checks in the company's earliest days. Upon starting his company, Nick Woodman dropped in $30,000 of his own money and also received $35,000 from his mother.

GoPro, whose parent company is actually called Woodman Labs, and its executives have long maintained that they did not need to go public. Lacking the pressure of outside investors felt by other venture-backed Silicon Valley companies, the camera firm has been able to navigate its own path since launching in 2003, growing from a niche product for surfers to a marketing machine with an ubiquitous presence at sporting events.  Today, Woodman, who filmed the birth of his two sons with his product, is angling for an even an bigger proposition to make the $300 devices your go-to camera to record life’s special moments.

“If we can become the de facto standard for image capture of unique perspectives around the world, we have a lot of growth ahead of us,” he said last year.

While sales growth may have slowed given that it filed confidentially, GoPro will certainly hope to find that type of growth as a public entity. The IPO filing news comes three days after the company announced that it has hired former Qualcomm executive Jack Lazar as its new chief financial officer to replace Kurt Amundson.

“As both a premier consumer products company and an enabler of compelling media content, GoPro is a high-growth company with a strong track record for innovation and for defining new markets,” Lazar said in a statement.

No comments:

Post a Comment