At-home exercise has always been a weird — but lucrative — market. Why do you think you've seen Bowflex commercials for the past three decades?
And where there's money, there are tech companies looking for their piece of the pie. Enter Peloton, a four-year-old startup that sells internet-connected stationary bikes tied to a livestreamed subscription workout experience.
Peloton is now worth about $1.25 billion thanks to its latest round of funding. That makes the at-home connected-bike company the latest unicorn, or private company worth $1 billion or more.
A post shared by Peloton (@onepeloton) on May 11, 2017 at 8:02am PDT
Peloton has $325 million in fresh capital from this new round, with money coming from a variety of name-brand investors, including Wellington Management, Fidelity Investments, and Kleiner Perkins. Comcast NBCUniversal also got in on the action.
Peloton bikes go for $1,995 (plus $250 for delivery and set up). Bike owners can then pay $39 per month for spin classes, which are livestreamed to the HD screen attached to the machine.
Those live classes pull in data collected by the bikes and compare it against other riders, for the full experience at home.
If that doesn't sound cheap, it's because it isn't. Peloton isn't positioning itself as a cheap alternative. It's a high-end system meant for people who don't have the time or patience for the gym. Think Equinox for you at home.
It's worked. Peloton has something of a cult following that's not terribly different to how people speak about in-person cycling classes like Soul-Cycle.
The company has grown quickly and was named Crain's fastest-growing company in New York of 2015.