In 2016, we reported that Xiaomi’s Yi 4K camera was basically an improved GoPro with a better price tag. Only two years later, the word is that Chinese consumer electronics maker Xiaomi is looking to acquire their action camera manufacturing “rival” for $1 billion.
According to The Information, GoPro CEO and investors are open to selling the company after over a decade of improving on its single camera model, but failing to reach other markets. The company attempted to create drones in conjunction with its camera, but the initiative was met with caution and general disapproval as its products were recalled due to mechanical failures. The company has also recently been forced to cut 15% of its workforce.
Given GoPro’s trajectory, potential buyers have seemed wary of overpaying. Both Xiaomi and Chinese drone maker DJI have expressed interest, but DJI decided not to make an offer because they failed to find “value in the company.” Xiaomi, on the other hand, is considering an offer of at most $1 billion, seeing the potential in the partnership. After all, Xiaomi could tap into the GoPro brand which has an avid following in the action camera community and a market presence in at least 100 countries. It would extend their reach, considering Xiaomi is mostly known for its phones and less so for its laptops, robots, TVs, and other consumer electronics like electric scooters!
GoPro Inc. jumped 8.8 percent after the news spread that Xiaomi is considering buying the company. The only obstacle Xiaomi and GoPro could face now would be resistance or a ban from US authorities. This wouldn’t be unprecedented, given the recent resistance when Broadcom tried to buy Qualcomm.