Latest Post

Does the Apple Watch work with Android? Notable Women in Technology: Liz Kohler

The reason for Raspberry Pi’s success is simple: it makes cheap, unobtrusive personal computers. Oh, and they’re the size of a credit card at best.

When you look at one of their PCs, it looks like a mechanical, exposed component of a laptop that you wouldn’t otherwise care about.

But that’s exactly what Raspberry Pi is all about: teaching people about computers and programming. The Cambridge-based group, founded 16 years ago, is now preparing for an IPO that could give the London Stock Exchange a much-needed boost. Shares are priced at £2.80 ($3.56) apiece, giving it a market capitalization of around £542 million ($688 million).

Raspberry Pi shares rose 39% in their conditional debut on Tuesday morning.

Trading in the shares will begin unconditionally on June 14.

“In an increasingly connected world, the market for Raspberry Pi’s powerful, affordable computing platforms continues to grow,” said Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi.

What is Raspberry Pi anyway?

Raspberry Pi had a humble start in life as a charity in Cambridge, where a team of engineers and computer scientists came together to create a PC that stood out from the rest.

Designed to “withstand the rigors of childhood,” as the University of Cambridge puts it, the company has sold over 60 million PCs worldwide since its launch in 2012.

The secret sauce of Raspberry Pi consists of four simple but crucial criteria: the PCs must be programmable, fun, affordable and robust.

Today, the cheapest Raspberry Pi computer costs just $15.

People use Raspberry Pi to learn programming and test hardware projects and other factory machines.

“As we realised the potential that affordable technology has to make a meaningful difference not only in education but in countless other areas, the scope of our ambitions grew,” Upton told the Financial Times.

Over the past 12 years, Raspberry Pi has launched several models, with proceeds going to the eponymous foundation – a shareholder with a 73% stake in the company – to support children’s education. The Raspberry Pi Foundation also offers free resources and educational programs tailored to young people.

The trading company’s revenue increased 41% year-on-year to $266 million in 2023, doubling profits to $38 million.

A November registration document valued the company at nearly $600 million, including newly raised funds, shortly after chipmaker Arm acquired a minority stake in the company.

Raspberry Pi logo on a PC
The personal computer Raspberry Pi with its logo.

Chris Ratcliffe – Bloomberg/Getty Images

Raspberry Pi goes public

The IPO of the ultra-niche computer manufacturer has been in preparation for several months.

One of the reasons the stock is being watched so closely is the boost it could bring to the London Stock Exchange, which has seen major IPOs fall through despite being within reach (including Arm’s). London in particular has lost its appeal in the tech world in recent years.

It was not a good sign for the LSE: some companies withdrew their listings, while in other European markets the number of IPOs increased – for example at the Swiss Galderma Group and the Spanish cosmetics group Puig.

In fact, Raspberry Pi could be a great showcase for restoring London’s attractiveness as a European tech hub. The company has users from a variety of ages and industries, is goal-oriented and has generated significant revenue thanks to the quality of its products.

“Strategically, the listing of Raspberry Pi is incredibly important as it would add an established, profitable technology company to the UK market,” Dan Ives, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said in a note last month.

“In London, technology companies are extremely underweight compared to the US and anything that addresses this issue is a step in the right direction. In the best case scenario, a rapid rise in Raspberry Pi’s share price on IPO could open the floodgates for more technology companies to list in London as it would demonstrate investors’ enthusiasm for the sector and their willingness to support UK technology champions.”

Raspberry Pi reminds us never to underestimate the power of a simple but effective product. Whether it can be just as effective in helping the UK stock markets remains to be seen.

Subscribe to Eye on AI’s newsletter to stay up to date on how AI is shaping the future of business. Signing up is free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *