Update: Since this story was published, more information has come to light about the nature of the deal and the loss on investment experienced by crowdsourced funding investor participants. Click here for more.
US multinational GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) has announced the acquisition of Forcite Helmet Systems, a Sydney-headquartered developer of smart, tech-enabled motorbike helmets with functions ranging from video capture, improved audio for the rider and hazard warnings.
The idea for Forcite was born in 2013 when co-founder and CEO Alfred Boyadgis seriously injured his knee after taking a slide on his motorcycle while riding through an oil slick, with the accident leading him to explore how sophisticated technologies could be used to foresee hazards so riders could take evasive action.
Boyadgis then teamed up with fellow industrial design graduate Julian (Jay) Chow, who also shared his passion for motorcycle culture and innovative design, conceptualising the first iterations of what would eventually become the Forcite MK1 smart motorcycle helmet.
The group has grown significantly since then with more advanced models of the helmets and further growth fuelled by a $5.5 million raise in early 2022. In August last year, the company opened Forcite Labs, a research and development (R&D) centre within the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct (AMIP) at Sydney Motorsport Park.
"We're not just here to innovate; we're here to redefine the very landscape of motorcycle technology and bring Australian design to the world stage," co-founder Julian Chow said at the time.
"Forcite Labs provides us with the perfect environment to push the envelope, to experiment, and to craft design solutions that blend seamlessly with the world of motorsports."
"Forcite Design Engineers will collaborate with the industry's best, testing our technology on a world-class track. This will undoubtedly accelerate our innovation journey, bringing us closer to pioneering breakthroughs in rider safety and event broadcast," Boyadgis said.
The deal, expected to close in the first quarter of this calendar year, is for an undisclosed sum. The Forcite co-founders have not been available to provide commentary prior to publication.
The California-based acquirer synonymous with wearable videography states that it intends to accelerate Forcite’s vision to provide a safer, more dynamic motorcycling experience.
GoPro also has the goal of enabling other categories of helmets with technology over time.
"The greater helmet market represents a meaningful TAM (total addressable market) expanding opportunity for GoPro, and we’re excited for the Forcite team to join us so that together we can work towards enhancing the performance and safety of various types of helmets, starting with motorcycle helmet," says GoPro founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman.
"GoPro has built a strong brand internationally across all forms of motorsports and has enjoyed a strong following with motorcycle enthusiasts. We’re excited to leverage our brand reputation along with our technical and operational capabilities to address what we believe is a long-term growth opportunity for our business.
"In addition to our plan to develop our own GoPro-branded line of helmets, we are excited to partner with other leading helmet brands to help tech-enable their own helmet lines. We have great respect for established brands, and we look forward to working with them to help drive the industry forward, together."
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.