When you think action cameras, you think GoPro. It’s like Jacuzzi or Tupperware or Maggi. It’s a brand that has become so synonymous with what they make that they’ve become it. But, despite its global brand recognition, the action camera maker is in dire straits. Things are so bad, in fact, that they could be looking at a sale to Xiaomi.
Recent reports by Bloomberg and The Information indicates that Xiaomi is considering making an offer. Earlier this year, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman has also publicly said that he is open to a deal and has even hired investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co to advise on a potential sale.
Once valued at over USD10 billion (about RM38 billion) GoPro’s market cap has fallen to only about USD761 million, which makes the sale a little tricky for Xiaomi because they may want to buy the company but they don’t want to overpay for it either. The Information reports that GoPro could potentially sell for USD1 billion, based on the price that HP bought Palm back in 2010.
GoPro’s been in trouble for quite some time now. While their idea of making tiny indestructible cameras is great for the consumer, it probably wasn’t the best business decision. When something doesn’t break, there’s no real need to upgrade. In tech, you either need people to replace their broken devices or come up with another groundbreaking new product to entice your audience to upgrade — which GoPro hasn’t really been too good at. Remember when they tried to make drones? Ouch.
Still, it isn’t like they don’t have good ideas. Fusion, for example, is one of their most interesting ideas yet because it’s a fresh new take on the concept of the 360-degree camera. But that’s really expensive and not particularly accessible for the mass market.
It will be interesting to see what happens if Xiaomi actually buys GoPro considering they’re also backing camera maker Xiaoyi who’s also pretty well-known for making GoPro clones. Of course, this could also be similar to what happened with Ninebot and Segway though this is merely my speculation.
What do you guys think will happen if Xiaomi buys GoPro? Let me know in the comments below.