Raspberry Pi prepares London stock market listing in boost for City

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The British hobbyist computer company Raspberry Pi is to file for a UK stock market listing in a rare boost for the City.

Raspberry Pi, best known for its cheap credit-card sized computers prized by hobbyists and amateur coders, has filed an intention to float and is expected to aim for a valuation of around £500m in the coming days.

It came as the Cambridge-based company said on Wednesday that revenues rose by 42pc last year to $265.8m (£211m).

It will sell new shares to raise funds while its majority owner, the Raspberry Pi foundation, will also sell down part of its stake in the flotation.

The float will be one of the biggest UK tech listings of recent years and comes as several tech businesses quit the London Stock Exchange.

Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi’s co-founder and chief executive, has said the company sounded out investors about a New York listing but ultimately opted for London.

Chief executive Eben Upton says the float will enable Raspberry Pi to double down on its work to get young people into computing – David Rose

On Wednesday the company confirmed it planned to float and would file listing documents later in the day.

Raspberry Pi said pre-tax profits almost doubled last year, from $20m to $38.2m, adding it expected unit sales of its computers to grow by between 10pc and 12pc in the medium term.

However, it warned that profits would be lower in the next two years due to launch costs associated with its upcoming Raspberry Pi 5 computer and higher component costs.

Since the company was founded in 2008 and released its first product in 2012, it has sold more than 60 milion devices.

Its cheapest computer costs £3.90, with its most expensive around £60. They are used by enthusiasts to make smart-home hubs, DIY computer servers or retro games consoles.

Raspberry Pi said it would focus on more expensive and powerful devices to serve corporate customers. Fans have raised concerns that the listing could mean the company abandoning its dedicated hobbyist community.

Outside investors in Raspberry Pi include Arm and Sony. The foundation that owns the majority of the company is set up to encourage coding among schoolchildren.

Mr Upton said: “For the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a patient and supportive shareholder, this IPO brings the opportunity to double down on their outstanding work to enable young people to realise their potential through the power of computing.

“Raspberry Pi enthusiasts will see the next phase of our development offer unprecedented opportunities for creativity and innovation.

“In an ever more connected world, the market for Raspberry Pi’s high-performance, low-cost computing platforms continues to expand. We have the technology roadmap to play an increasingly significant role, and we are excited to embark on the next stage of our growth.”

Jefferies and Peel Hunt are working on the flotation.

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