Peloton Filed for an IPO
The fitness media company has been gearing up for a public offering since last year
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Peloton—the at-home, on-demand fitness company best known for its pricey stationary bikes and cultlike following—announced Wednesday that it filed confidentially for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a crucial step toward becoming a publicly traded company. The number of shares it expects to sell, their price range, and the date of the IPO have not been disclosed. (The company did not immediately respond to Outside’s requests for comment.)
CEO John Foley has been hinting at a public offering since 2018. A confidential filing isn’t an uncommon approach for “emerging growth” companies with under $1 billion in revenue, as it allows them to withhold sensitive private information until their actual IPO date while the SEC reviews their registration statement. (Tech companies Lyft, Pinterest, and Uber, and the work-share company WeWork, all also filed confidentially in 2019.) Peloton was last valued at $4.15 billion, but Bloomberg reports that that could skyrocket to $8 billion as the at-home fitness trend continues to boom.
The company has seen explosive growth since it was founded in 2012. As Luke Darby wrote in 2018 for Outside, it is looking to “bring the intensity and devoted following of cycling classes like SoulCycle and Flywheel into the home.” New riders cite feeling “instant camaraderie” with both the instructors and fellow cyclists, a connection that keeps them hooked. Peloton’s $2,245 bikes, equipped with a 22-inch screen to livestream or play over 10,000 on-demand workouts, have garnered some criticism for their hefty price tags. A subscription costs an additional $39 a month for unlimited classes. But the company boasts reviews that are overwhelmingly positive, barring one recent music-licensing snafu, after which some users claimed the app’s music quality declined.
Peloton is a giant in the digital-fitness space, but it has seen a rise in competition as more businesses enter a market projected to grow almost 40 percent to $27.4 billion by 2022. Companies like Flywheel and NordicTrack also offer at-home stationary bikes and streaming classes (and their bikes are cheaper, starting at $1,999). Fitness apps like Aaptiv and Zwift are also vying for a similar user base, and Strava is setting its sights on serving people who work out indoors. Even big-box gym chains like Gold’s are introducing their own tech to keep up.
Still, Peloton is the first major player in the digital-fitness space to file for an IPO, while others’ attempts have stalled out. Aaptiv CEO Ethan Agarwal recently backed off his suggestion that Aaptiv could go public in 2020, and Peloton’s studio-based competitor, SoulCycle, withdrew from its IPO registration in 2018, citing “market conditions.”
With this public offering, Peloton is betting on the longevity of its community-based, live-streaming workouts. And for outdoor-riding evangelists, this could be good news: more people staying at home means less crowding on the good old-fashioned singletrack.