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December 20, 2012 7:15 pm
The 9 per cent stake taken by the Taiwanese contract manufacturer in GoPro-maker Woodman Labs could put any move to go public on the backburner.
The Reuters news agency reported in July that an IPO was being planned by the Silicon Valley company for next year, valuing GoPro at $300m to $500m, but the new investment gives it extra working capital and increases that valuation more than fourfold.
GoPro makes the best-selling Hero “point-of-view” camera that skiers, surfers and extreme sports enthusiasts can attach to themselves to record their activities hands-free. The Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner used five GoPro cameras in his jump from the edge of space earlier this year.
More than 3m GoPro cameras have been sold over the past three years and the category is growing at 35 per cent a year, with new entrants such as Sony boosting sales to around $500m in the US alone this year.
Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founder and chief executive, is to join the GoPro board as part of the deal.
“We are over the moon to have Terry Gou and Foxconn join us on our mission to scale GoPro into one of the great enabling companies of our time,” said Nick Woodman, GoPro founder and chief executive, in a statement.
“Foxconn and GoPro see a future where personal content capture and enjoyment will play an increasingly important role in our lives.”
A Foxconn spokesman told the Bloomberg News agency that it needed image-capture technology to complement its existing display technology. Foxconn would participate in GoPro’s future development and hoped to be a supplier.
Foxconn makes Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox game console, among other products, in its factories.
It has already invested in another Silicon Valley consumer electronics company, providing two rounds of funding for Wimm Labs, creator of a smartwatch and wearable computing platform based on Google’s Android operating system.
This article has been changed to reflect the fact that Foxconn is a Taiwanese contract manufacturer
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