Red Bull Makes Large Investment in GoPro – But Why?
Since taking GoPro public in 2014, share prices have plunged 90% and things were’t looking good for the company who posted another 50% drop in revenue this past quarter. Just yesterday Olympus launched the TG-Tracker camera which looks like a far more enticing camera than the GoPro Hero, and other companies like Sony have also been steadily eating away at GoPro’s lead in the action camera market. My sources in the video industry also tell me that they have taken some heat recently for not delivering a consumer-friendly 360 camera, which certainly looks like it’s going to be the next big thing for viral online marketing. At the recent NAB industry show they unveiled a new 360 camera rig called the Omni, but at $5000 it’s a far cry from the price point that would suit the bulk of their market who are used to buying $500 cameras and many users I’ve heard from are unhappy about that.
The much hyped launch of the GoPro Karma drone (no photos of it just yet) was also recently delayed until “the holiday season” – another blow to their stock price.
Today though, Red Bull announced that they have made a significant investment in GoPro and for the first time in a very long time, GoPro’s stocks have risen. The deal includes a large amount of stock, so we have to assume that Red Bull’s investment team feel the stock price is at the bottom, and that something they have in the pipeline will increase their stock value in the coming year(s). I’ve no doubt that the Karma drone will have been demonstrated to them, and they will likely have been informed about other new products on the development roadmap. So what was it on this roadmap that has convinced a strong company like Red Bull to make such a large investment into a seemingly ailing company like GoPro? I haven’t seen any inspirational products out of them for some time, and their sales have been utterly underwhelming for a while.
I personally think that the stranglehold that DJI has on the consumer drone market is going to be a tough one for GoPro to break with the Karma, so I can’t help thinking that there must be considerably more in the pipeline for Red Bull to make this kind of investment.
Time will tell…