Raspberry Pi Floats on the London Stock Exchange, Brings in $211.5M to Fund Expansion and More

Shares close up on the company's flotation — and its founders become millionaires as a result.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoHW101

The initial public offering of Raspberry Pi, which officially marks its move from being a privately-held company to a publicly listed one in which anyone can become a shareholder, is complete — and it's been a barnstorming success for existing shareholders and initial investors, closing nearly half again as high as its opening price.

"This is a watershed moment for Raspberry Pi, and the start of a new phase in our evolution: access to the public market will enable us to build more of the products you love, faster," claims Raspberry Pi chief executive officer and co-founder Eben Upton. "It’s been an incredible journey so far. And while today is a remarkable day, it’s also in a very real sense just another day on that journey. There’s a lot more road ahead of us than there is behind."

The for-profit side of Raspberry Pi is now a publicly-traded company — and the educational arm is celebrating too. (📹: Raspberry Pi)

When Raspberry Pi launched its first single-board computer in February 2012, few involved in the process could have imagined it would be celebrating 60 million units shipped a little over a decade later. Over those years, Raspberry Pi — which is split into a for-profit company developing and selling the hardware, which is the half subject to today's IPO, and a non-profit that supports the use of Raspberry Pi and general computing in education — has seen private investment from companies including Sony and Arm, and in January this year hinted at plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

An IPO, also known as a flotation, sees a company entered onto a stock exchange — in this case, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) — as a publicly-listed company, allowing anyone to trade in its shares. In May Raspberry Pi firmed up its plans with an expected intention to float, and today that flotation saw the company's shares open on the LSE at £2.80 (around $3.57) each. For the company's existing shareholders, it was a milestone moment — and a millionaire maker. For the commercial arm of Raspberry Pi, now known as Raspberry Pi Holdings PLC, it brought in £166 million (around $211.5 million) in new funding.

When a company floats and public trading begins, the share price naturally shifts. If the share price drops from its opening price, the IPO is considered a failure — and early investors take a bath. Those who have put their funds into Raspberry Pi shares at opening, though, have cause for celebration: the share price closed at £3.85 (around $4.91), representing a big gain for those who got their orders in early enough.

What these means for the future of Raspberry Pi itself, though, remains murky. The company's IPO filing documentation includes plans to use the influx of money to fund expansion into China, India, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South America, but also hinted at the development of "product variants which better serve Raspberry Pi's customers' needs and can therefore be offered at higher ASPs [Average Selling Prices]."

For now, though, the only thing Raspberry Pi fans can do is watch to see what happens — or become an investor themselves.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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