GoPro IPO A 'Viral' Success

Over the last two days, Wall Street has reveled in an impressive IPO by GoPro, the company that turned tiny personal cameras into an industry unto itself.

Since the company went public on June 26, GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) stock soared nearly 50 percent from the initial price of $24 a share, topping $40 before settling to $35.92 at Friday’s close.

Being a media company and producer of cameras, GoPro not only rang the opening bell on Wall Street, but it also produced a video to show the world just why they’ve been so successful.

The video boils the story of GoPro down to 1 minute, 42 seconds of exciting footage and stellar editing featuring some well known clips and bold moments of action.

The tiny action cameras made for one of the largest consumer electronics IPOs ever, generating about $427 million for the company on day one. For perspective, Duracell’s IPO netted about $433 million in 1993. The company had a valuation of more than $4 billion entering the weekend.

“When I think about how far we’ve come, it makes me incredibly excited for what lays ahead,” GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman says on the video.

While the company’s product is certainly effective, there is much more than a simple recording device behind GoPro’s success. The brand has become something of a media empire, with hundreds of thousands of branded videos thanks to its free editing software and millions of YouTube followers.

“They don’t just sell a video camera, they sell the memory of the wave or the ski trip down the slope,” Ben Arnold, a consumer technology industry analyst at the NPD Group, told Wired. “I think we are entering an age where lifestyle in technology is becoming very important.”

GearJunkie first covered Woodman and GoPro in 2005 when editor Stephen Regenold met him at the ISPO trade show in Germany. Woodman at the time was a one-man shop selling 35mm film cameras mounted on Velcro bracelets to the surfing market.

It truly will be exciting to watch what Woodman and his team can do with this huge infusion of capital. —Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.