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Ready, set, GoPro: Camera maker to hit Wall Street

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — GoPro has climbed mountaintops and dived to ocean bottoms. Now it's headed somewhere only slightly tamer: Wall Street.

The maker of wearable sports cameras, loved by mountain climbers, divers, surfers and other extreme sports fans, said late Wednesday it sold 17.8 million shares at $24 each in its initial public offering of stock.

The IPO was priced at the high end of GoPro's expected range and raised $427 million, valuing the whole company at about $3 billion. The proceeds from the IPO could rise to $491 million if underwriters use their option to buy more shares.

The stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq stock market Thursday under ticker symbol "GPRO."

The company is entering a busy time for initial public offerings, with seven companies expected to make their debut on the same day. It's the third busiest week for IPOs since 2000, according to IPO investment adviser Renaissance Capital.

But GoPro is likely to stand out. Its branded cameras have created a new market, selling electronics and accessories to people who want to take video of themselves jumping out of a plane or riding a skateboard — especially first-person videos that capture the experience as they saw it.

"They seem to have dominated this business," said Kathleen Smith, co-founder of Renaissance Capital, which manages a fund that tracks recent IPOs.

GoPro wants to go beyond cameras. It has hinted that it wants to be a media company, too, by making money off the videos created by the cameras. However, it hasn't laid out concrete plans to do that yet.

The company, which has its headquarters in San Mateo, California, was founded in 2004 by GoPro's CEO and Chairman Nicholas Woodman. Its first product was a waterproof camera that used film. In 2006, it launched its first digital camera. Three years later it began selling a high-definition camera. The cameras are light, small and waterproof. They have other uses besides sports. TV producers use them to film in areas where big professional cameras can't go.

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