Friday, 27 June 2014

GoPro goes public

(CNN) – The camera famous for capturing private views is going public.

For ten years, GoPro has been recording extreme sports from the angle of the competitors.

Now it’s entering a competition of its own with the launch of its IPO.

Whether it’s daredevil tots, fetching canines, or an out of this world leap from the edge of space, GoPro is taking the camera industry to new heights.

And now, ten years since the sale of its first ultra-portable cameras, investors have a chance to snap up shares.

“There are some real questions about how viable it is as a long-term investment because it’s awfully specialized in a niche and it’s coming into a somewhat pessimistic market as it relates to high tech offerings, but I do think it’s in the wearable space and that space is hot,” Max Wolff, Chief Economist, Citizen VC said.

GoPro’s story began with a real splash: San Diego surfer dude Nick Woodman’s goal was to create breathtaking sports videos and share them with his fans.

The camera’s lightweight, wearable, mountable camera – which fits in the palm of your hand – gives people an eye-of-the-beholder view of the action.

With GoPro, Woodman is now a self made billionaire and has revolutionizing the world of video, selling more than 8.5 million cameras.

But not everything is sky-high for GoPro. Revenues declined in the first quarter of this year.

It’s facing growing competition from much larger camera companies like Sony and Samsung.

And tech watchers wonder if smartphones and smartwatches might replace GoPro, the way they did the Flip cam.

“You really would need a phone that could withstand a lot to replace the GoPro, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. Obviously Google and Apple are looking at every single consumer market and they’re finding interest in just about everything right now,” Paul LaMonica said.

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