Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Raspberry Pi stock surges after London IPO

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Raspberry Pi’s IPO took place this morning on the London Stock Exchange. Shares were initially priced at £2.80 ($3.57), but they surged to £3.90 ($4.97) during early trading.

The £2.80 ($3.57) offer price gave the company a market capitalization of approximately £541.6 million ($690.2 million) as conditional trading got underway. The offer size came to £166 million ($211.6 million), representing 30.7 percent of the corp’s ordinary shares.

Should an over-allotment option be excised – as seems likely – that final offer size would be £178.9 million ($228 million), or 33 percent of Raspberry Pi’s ordinary shares.

Unconditional trading is set to start on June 14.

It is all heady stuff and a far cry from the hobbyist beginnings of the first Raspberry Pi computer, released in 2012. The credit card-sized Arm-powered device could be bought for £30 ($38) once VAT and shipping were included. Today, a top-of-the-range 8GB Raspberry Pi 5 will cost a customer approximately £80 ($102), although a Raspberry Pi 3 can be picked up for around £35 ($44).

The final edition of the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ is still in production and will remain so until at least January 2030. Introduced in 2014, the Pi gained the familiar 40-pin GPIO header and 512MB of RAM, yet it can hardly be called a ball of fire when compared to more modern hardware from the company.

While initially focused on education and hobbyists, according to Raspberry Pi, 72 percent of its SBC and Compute Module sales went to industrial and embedded customers, with enthusiasts and educational users snapping up the remainder.

Europe is still the Raspberry Pi’s largest market, accounting for 38 percent of units sold. Buyers in the US and Asia account for 29 percent and 26 percent of shipments, respectively.

Pi supremo Eben Upton was delighted with how things have gone so far and said in a statement: “The reaction that we have received is a reflection of the world-class team that we have assembled and the strength of the loyal community with whom we have grown.

“Welcoming new shareholders alongside our existing ones brings with it a great responsibility, and one that we accept willingly, as we continue on our mission to make high-performance, low-cost computing accessible to everyone.”

Some users have expressed mixed feelings about the IPO, noting that the money would be helpful for R&D and new projects, however, the flotation underlines the fact that the company is a business.

That said, the Pi charitable foundation is a major shareholder and stands to receive a cash boost thanks to the IPO.

As for the future, Upton told The Register earlier this year that while he remains at the helm of the organization, it would continue to do interesting work and try to keep making money.

The Reg hopes this is the case, but think it’s fair to say that pleasing both the corporation’s customers and shareholders might end up being more challenging than obtaining a Raspberry Pi 5 at launch. ®

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