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Founder of GoPro now a $$ Billionaire

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An infusion of cash into GoPro, the wearable action-camera company, makes its founder, Nicholas Woodman, a billionaire.

That’s according to an article today on Forbes.com, which cites a $200 million investment by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world’s largest electronics manufacturing company, as pushing the value of the company to $2.25 billion.

Since Woodman owns more than 50% of GoPro, the Forbes article cites, his net worth is ostensibly more than $1 billion. This makes the 36-year-old surfing junkie likely the richest man in the entire outdoors world.

GoPro founder Nicholas Woodman

The deal means that Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn, now owns 8.88% of GoPro. Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founder and CEO, will join GoPro’s board.

Notable products made by Foxconn include the Apple iPhone, iPad, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox. No word on how the deal will effect manufacturing of the GoPro.

Said Nicholas Woodman in a press release on the deal: “Needless to say, 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.”

The ubiquitous GoPro camera

Woodman continued, “Foxconn and GoPro see a future where personal content capture and enjoyment will play an increasingly important role in our lives and we’re excited to combine efforts to strengthen GoPro’s position in that future.”

The Forbes article cites GoPro as having a 32% share of the “pocket camcorder market.” Based in San Mateo, Calif., GoPro’s products are available in more than 30,000 stores in over 100 countries worldwide.

I first covered Nicholas Woodman and GoPro in 2005 when I met him at the ISPO trade show in Germany. It has been amazing to watch the growth of the category (wearable action cameras) through the lens of Woodman, who at the time was a one-man shop selling 35mm film cameras mounted on Velcro bracelets to the surfing market.

Congrats to Woodman and his company on the huge success! For outdoor enthusiasts everywhere, helmet cameras like the GoPro have enhanced the experience of sharing stories via video, capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments, and then reliving the adventure when you get back home.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of GearJunkie.

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