GoPro sets sights on IPO as it targets the government market (with related video)
Action camera maker GoPro aims to raise $100 million or more in a potential initial public offering (IPO). At the same time, the San Mateo, Calif.-based firm is rolling out products that should interest the public sector. The company has been on a roll— GoPro shipped a total of 3.8 million units of its high-definition, pocket-sized video cameras last year in more than 100 countries, according to a Security & Exchange Commission filing.
The company’s main product offering is action cams — small, weatherproof, mountable and/or wearable video cameras that offer quality video and long battery life. The cameras were initially marketed for extreme sports fans, but other kinds of hobbyists have quickly discovered new applications for them. One example is unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone flyers, who mount the GoPro cameras on their aerial platforms and record breath-taking video in the heavens.
“We are just starting to get the government, education and public sector side of the business going,” says Wayne Sexton, who handles government and education sales for GoPro. “There are several applications for our products in government.” Some of the inquiries from governments that Sexton has received include queries from environmental and biology project managers. “Being able to go underwater and do a lot of testing for various government agencies in seas and waterways is a potential application,” says Sexton.
“I’ve had requests for information from highway and transportation agencies and departments,” says Sexton. “They would like to put our GoPros on their sanding, plowing and salting trucks to document driver skills. The videos could aid in training their drivers on how to effectively do their jobs.“
Armed forces could also be buyers of GoPro products, Sexton told GPN. “The military has a need for our products for training of recruits. That could be a huge potential market as well. Officers could put the GoPro cams on recruits’ helmets for training exercises. Videos/pictures from the cameras could be reviewed to improve soldiers’ skills.”
Law enforcement could be another area where GoPros are in constant use, says Sexton. Having the camera video footage available can help officers document what took place on a police call. So wearing the GoPro with a chest mount would enable police to have a record of events as they took place.”
Yet another area that the GoPro camera has a place in is a classroom, says Sexton. “Video is very much driving education these days—because teachers are trying to engage the students. The classroom environment is changing from someone just standing there and presenting to greater use instructional video. What the GoPro does is it gives teachers the versatility of using the outdoors as a classroom. Teachers can take the cameras outside. The GoPros are in a protective housing, so your 4th and 5th graders can’t really damage them at all.”
In this video, shot with a GoPro camera, a father-son team rescue several deer stuck out on the ice in the middle of Albert Lea Lake in Minnesota.