GoPro Inc. could be valued at nearly $3 billion in its upcoming initial public offering, and its employees will immediately share in the bounty.
The action-camera company revised its public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday morning to fill in blanks left when the document was originally released. The biggest addition is details of the actual offering: GoPro seeks to sell 17.8 million shares in a price range of $21 to $24 a share, which would raise $427.2 million at a valuation of $2.96 billion at the high end.
GoPro sells durable, small cameras that are typically connected to a person or object to record action – they are popular for sports such as skiing and snowboarding, and have been commonly attached to vehicles or drones to capture live video.
Only half of the IPO money will go directly to GoPro, as the company also divulged that dozens of employees who have shares in the company will participate in the IPO along with executives and venture capitalists, a rare move. Typically, some large early investors may contribute shares to an IPO, but employees with smaller holdings are either offered a chance to group with others in a secondary offering or left to fend for themselves on the open market after lockups expire.
GoPro’s offering will be split right down the middle, with the company offering 8.9 million shares and stockholders adding 8.9 million shares of their own. They are all selling only small percentages of their stakes, however. For instance, founder and CEO Nick Woodman is selling 3.56 million of his 56.6 million shares; employee No. 1, Neil Dana, is divesting 658,443 of his 6.58 million shares; and pro surfer Kelly Slater – deemed a “consultant” in Wednesday’s filing – will sell 73,500 of his 210,000 shares.
The only major early investor who declined to offer shares was the first person to put up capital for the company: Nick Woodman’s father, Dean Woodman. Venture-capital investors purchased almost 27 million shares in the company from Nick and Dean Woodman in 2011, while the company sold 7.9 million newly created shares in GoPro’s only round of venture investment; Nick and Dean Woodman combined to reap almost $70 million in that transaction.
Venture investors Riverwood Capital, FoxConn and Sageview Capital will combine to sell 2.3 million shares from their holdings of slightly more than 37 million shares in the company.
Founded in 2004 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. – a perfect location for the surfers who founded the firm – GoPro moved up the Peninsula to San Mateo in 2012 as its revenues soared higher. Sales gained more than 124 percent in 2012 and another 87 percent last year, providing the type of revenue growth IPO investors crave. GoPro has an advantage over other Silicon Valley companies with big revenue growth, however: The company is also profitable, showing a net income for each of the past three years totaling more than $115 million.
Revenue growth is slowing, however, including a year-over-year decline from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, from $255.1 million to $235.7 million. GoPro will likely point potential investors to its growing media offerings for future revenue growth – GoPro has an online video channel that is chock full of videos shot by users and has clocked more than 450 million video views.
“As of December 31, 2013, we had not derived revenue from the distribution of, or social engagement with, our content on the GoPro Network,” the company says in its filing. “However, we plan to pursue new revenue opportunities from the distribution of engaging GoPro content in the near term.”
Last week, GoPro announced that former Skype CEO Tony Bates had been hired as president, second in command to CEO Woodman, with the purpose of expanding and monetizing its media ambitions.
“As president of GoPro, Tony will focus on our core business as well as scaling GoPro’s fast-growing media operations,” Woodman said in the announcement of the hiring.
GoPro still could change its price range before naming a final IPO price, which is not constrained by the range of prices released Wednesday. Underwriters, led by JPMorgan, Citi and Barclay’s, have access to an additional cache of 2.67 million investor shares they can purchase if demand warrants.
GoPro will use its proceeds to close a credit line of more than $100 million, along with other general corporate purposes. After selling its debut shares, GoPro will begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol GPRO.