Raspberry Pi Zero and Camera Module
Investors are hoping Raspberry Pi’s success can attract more tech peers to the market / Image source: Raspberry Pi
  • Pre-tax profits soared 90% last year
  • Heavyweight backers include Arm and Sony
  • $21.2 billion market opportunity

Affordable computer developer Raspberry Pi (RPI) made a stunning debut on the London Stock Exchange with its IPO (initial public offering) priced at 280p, the top end of the range, and the shares surging 30% higher to 360p in early dealings.

UK tech stories are few and far between in London, so investors will be hoping Raspberry Pi’s success can attract more tech sector peers to the market.

Backed by strategic shareholders Sony (6758:TYO) and Arm (ARM:NASDAQ), Raspberry Pi is already profitable and believes it can sustain its strong growth trajectory in a TAM (total addressable market) worth some $21.2 billion (£16.7 billion).

RIPE FOR GROWTH

Founded by chief executive Eben Upton in 2012 to make computing more accessible to young people, Raspberry Pi designs and develops low-cost SBCs (single board computers) and compute modules for industrial customers, enthusiasts and educators around the world.

The Cambridge-headquartered company also entered the semiconductor market in early 2021 with the launch of its first semiconductor product, the RP2040 microcontroller.

Raspberry Pi insists its computers are more efficient to manufacture and consume less energy than legacy desktop and embedded PCs.

Since the company began trading in 2012, it has sold over 60 million SBCs and compute modules, 7.4 million of which were sold in the year to December 2023, when revenues ripened up 41% to $265.8 million.

Pre-tax profit powered 90% higher to $38.2 million last year. However, the company has flagged volatility in customer demand in 2024-to-date, which has led to ‘higher than usual levels of inventory’, although management expects this to normalise over the course of 2024 ‘resulting in stronger results in the second half of the year than in the first half’.

WHAT DID THE CEO SAY?

Upton said: ‘The quality of the interactions during the marketing process has underlined our belief that London has the right calibre and sophistication of investor to support growing, ambitious technology businesses such as Raspberry Pi. The reaction that we have received is a reflection of the world-class team we have assembled and the strength of the loyal community with whom we have grown.’

Why Shein’s £50 billion IPO will give ASOS and Boohoo the shivers

He added: ‘Welcoming new shareholders alongside our existing ones brings with it a great responsibility, and one that we accept willingly, as we continue on our mission to make high-performance, low-cost computing accessible to everyone.’

The market newcomer is in fact a subsidiary of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity whose goal is to promote interest in computer science among young people.

Raspberry Pi has distributed approximately $50 million in dividends to the Foundation since 2013, which has been used to advance its educational mission globally.

THE EXPERT’S VIEW

Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said Raspberry Pi’s IPO shows the UK is open for business to technology flotations and investors are hungry for companies of any size if they tick the right boxes.

‘There is a widely held view that tech companies only float in the US where they can potentially get a higher valuation,’ explained Coatsworth. ‘Raspberry Pi is proof that the UK can still compete against the likes of the Nasdaq and attract home-grown champions.

‘Raspberry Pi is a profitable, established name and not reliant on the ‘jam tomorrow’ story that often props up a lot of tech IPOs. It has a large community of users; it makes money rather than simply being a bright idea that is not yet commercialised; and there is a strong social angle as Raspberry Pi has education built into its business model.

‘The UK market is woefully under-represented in tech names and hopefully Raspberry Pi’s IPO success will open the flood gates for others in the sector to also float here. If the London Stock Exchange wants a new posterchild for how IPOs should play out and to attract others onto the market, Raspberry Pi is the one to hold up high.’

DISCLAIMER: Financial services company AJ Bell referenced in this article owns Shares magazine. The author of this article (James Crux) and the editor (Ian Conway) own shares in AJ Bell.

Find out how to deal online from £1.50 in a SIPP, ISA or Dealing account. AJ Bell logo

Issue Date: 11 Jun 2024