Raspberry Pi Goes Public And For Profit?
Wednesday, 01 December 2021

The Raspberry Pi is an amazing piece of hardware and behind it there is an amazing organization. Now there are plans to take it public with an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Does this mean that its going to be for profit from then on?

There are two entities behind the Pi - the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a not-for-profit charity that champions the use of the Pi in education and Raspberry Pi Ltd which makes and sells the hardware. A recent investment of £45 million, valued the limited company at around $500 million and as a public for-profit company it is probably worth a lot more.

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Currently the limited company has passed on all of its profits to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, effectively making the entire enterprise a not-for-profit. In 2020 it made a net profit of £10.7 million on sales of £71.7 million, which is a modest 15% profit on sales.  Eben Upton commented to the Telegraph:

"Obviously, the $45m we raised in September takes away some of the urgency around figuring out how we fund the future. On the other hand, we have great plans for what we are going to do over the next five years."

What isn't clear is how the company will deal with shareholders and their need to maximize profits. Recently the company has focused more on the use of the Pi in industrial IoT, but it is still essentially a force for education. I can't really see how the limited company could continue to pass on 100% of its profit to the not-for-profit and what this means isn't difficult to work out. Could this be the start of price increases or dual pricing for educational/ industrial use?

What happens does depend on the percentage of the company offered for sale and who retains control. Even so, shareholders are going to expect capital growth and a dividend unless they are all unusually philanthropic...

 

 

More Information

Personal computer maker Raspberry Pi plans London listing

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 December 2021 )