Raspberry Pi Goes Public

Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced the company that popularized single-board computers has gone public, with an IPO on the London Stock Exchange Tuesday....
Raspberry Pi Goes Public
Written by Matt Milano
  • Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced the company that popularized single-board computers has gone public, with an IPO on the London Stock Exchange Tuesday.

    Raspberry Pi revolutionized the single-board computer market, originally creating its computers to be cost-effective options for the education market and for tinkerers. The computers took off in popularity, being widely used for a variety of purposes, including servers, automation, robotics, and general use.

    Upton says the IPO is a “watershed moment” in the company’s history:

    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. And the money raised by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the IPO will support its ambitions for global impact in its second decade.

    Philip Colligan, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, explained how the commercial company and the foundation differ:

    So Raspberry Pi has pretty much always been a tale of two organisations: the Foundation, which is a charity, and Raspberry Pi Ltd, which is a commercial company. While we are legally and practically separate organisations, we are united by a mission to democratise computing, and by a set of values that reflect the community of makers, engineers, and educators that have always been such a central part of the Raspberry Pi story.

    Colligan goes on to explain how an IPO will benefit both entities:

    The proposed IPO is all about securing the next stage of growth and impact for both the Foundation and the commercial company.

    To date, Raspberry Pi Ltd has donated nearly $50m from its profits to the Foundation, which we have used to advance our educational mission combined with over $60m in funding from philanthropy, sponsorship, and contracts for educational services.

    As the company has continued to grow, it has needed working capital and funding to invest in innovation and product development. Over the past few years that has mainly come from retained profits. Listing Raspberry Pi Ltd on a public market will enable the company to raise additional capital through issuing new shares, which will lead to broader reach, greater impact, and ultimately more value being created for the benefit of all shareholders, including the Foundation.

    From the Foundation’s perspective, an IPO provides us with the ability to sell some of our shares to raise money to finance a sustainable expansion of our educational activities. Put simply, instead of receiving a share of the company’s profits each year, we will convert some of our shareholding into an endowment that we will use to fund our educational programmes.

    Given the importance of Raspberry Pi in the computing space, an IPO should help the company and foundation thrive for many years to come.

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