Peloton is an American stationary bike company that provides stationary bikes and instructor supervised workouts for members who prefer to do their workouts from home. It's becoming a big sensation in the fitness industry and has drawn in members in large numbers. It is described as having a cult like following. We looked into the company and made some interesting discoveries. It has an interesting past and the future for the company looks bright. If you haven't yet heard of Peloton and are interested in fitness, here are 20 things about them that you probably don't know but might be glad to learn.
1. Peloton was founded in 2012
The Peloton company was first established in 2012. One of the co-founders named John Foley discovered that his self-directed workouts at the gym were not as productive or rewarding as those that were led by an instructor. The idea occurred to him that bringing exercise classes into the homes would be benefitcial so he spent a year discussing options for doing this with co-founders Tom Cortese, Yony Feng, Hisao Kushi and Graham Stanton. This is how Peloton came into existence. The group got together and built a business that would bring instructor led fitness into the homes of subscribers.
2. Peloton was started with a $400,000 investment
It took millions in funding to bring the idea of Peloton into reality. The founding group started their venture with $400,000 in initial seed money. They embarked on yet more funding pursuits and closed a series A funding, after the initial seed was raised with $3.5 million to get their New York startup business off the ground.
3. Peloton had a Kickstarter campaign
As a way to raise funds for the development of their Peloton fitness bike, the group behind Peloton set up a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign. The very first Peloton bike that was used in their Kickstarter video was not yet perfected. It was a prototype bike which was designed and manufactured in 2013. Although the bike was far from perfected, it was a start that helped the company gain recognition and raise $307,000 in crowd funding when they were first trying to get the business off the ground. Another goal that was accomplished through the campaign was to raise public awareness of the bike and the new business that the Peloton crew was proposing.
4. Peloton received millions in Series B funding
The prototype bike that Peloton had developed to shoot the video was still under development and it would take a lot more of a financial investment to modify the design and make it ready for consumer use. The Peloton company sought and received a round of Series B funding that resulted in an investment of $10.5 million. It took a long time to perfect the design of the bike, then to manufacture and ship them. The sales of the Peloton bike started out at a slow pace. In 2014, Peloton opened their first brick and mortar studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. This is where spin instructors recorded their classes. They were slowly making progress that would lead them to become one of the next big trends in fitness in America.
5. They are called the "Netflix for fitness"
The stationary bike company earned the reputation for providing online fitness instruction led by real live instructors through a series of pre-recorded videos. This made it possible for people to use the bike and receive instruction without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. It allowed them to completely bypass the gym. This is one of the reasons why it received this description. Peloton has made it possible to get an instructor led workout while enjoying the convenience of a subscription service.
6. Peloton received another round of funding in 2015
Investors saw the great potential in the Peloton company and the subscription services that they offered for fitness enthusiasts, so it wasn't difficult to find venture capital to back the new startup. In 2015, Peloton engaged in a round of Series C funding which was used for expansion of the brick and mortar retail locations. They also needed to accelerate the production of the bikes. The total amount of round C funding came to an additional $30 million on top of what they had already raised.
7. Peloton had to problem solve their delivery service
In the first few years, there were two bit issues with production of the Peloton stationary bikes. They were not being produced fast enough to keep up with the growing consumer demand and the second problem was that they were not being delivered in a timely manner. The Peloton crew knew that these two issues would be bad for business so they used money from the round C funding to speed up the production of the bikes and then they hired a crew of delivery men to ensure that the bikes would be delivered to customers in a more timely manner.
8. They put millions into their software engineering
With the production and delivery issues taken care of, the next focus of the Peloton team was upon the quality of their software. They raised another $75 million in funding near the end of 2015. The funds were directed towards the expansion of their software engineering team. Their growth was happening quickly and the team struggled to keep up, but they managed to pull it off.
9. Live and on-demand classes started in 2016
If you've recently subscribed to Peloton, you might not be aware of the fact that their unlimited live and on-demand classes have only been offered since 2016. This is when they began offering these subscriptions which are charged at a monthly rate. The classes are structured so you can either participate in fitness lessons with or without the Peloton bike so if you still want to go with an instructor led workout and don't want to buy the bike, there are also options available for you.
10. Yet another round of funding makes Peloton financially stable
There is little need to worry about the Peloton company going out of business any time soon. They received yet another recent round of funding to back their venture and this time it came to a whopping $325 million. This sends the clear message that big venture capitalist firms recognize the value of Peloton and they're willing to put millions into its further development and expansion. From all appearances, the company is a safe bet and they have an exciting future ahead of them from an investor's point of view.
11. The company is valued at more than a billion
In case you were wondering what the Peloton company is worth today, the current valuation is set at $1.4 billion. The total funding for Peloton has been $443.7 million. They've experienced a tremendous amount of growth since they first began as a small startup with a crappy prototype for a stationary bike. All it really took to get Peloton off the ground was a few good execs putting their ideas into action and investors who believed in the potential of the company. A lot of hard work went into its development but its arisen as a leader in the fitness industry because of the convenience that it affords subscribers.
12. Peloton is disrupting multiple industries
Our investigation of the Peloton company also turned up a few more interesting facts. Their fast emergence and growth has served as a powerful disruption for several industries including fitness, cycling and video streaming. When we say disrupt we mean that they're changing the status quo of the industries. They're something that is totally new and Peloton is giving the public different choices than those which were previously offered. Their production of the stationary bike is one thing but they've taken at home fitness to an all new level and the crowds who were previously involved with other types of cycling around the neighborhood or on trails or watching fitness via live or pre-recorded videos are now making a migration to this new phenomenon.
13. Peloton has developed a cult following
One consistency that is used by reporters and other investigators into the Peloton fitness craze is that they refer to the following of the services as being a cult. No, it's not a weird religious thing but it's not too far from it. People are turning out in droves to subscribe to the services. The cost of the spinning bikes are $2,000 each and the subscription fees for live streamed classes, which incidentally, are streamed to the screen on the bike itself are $39 per month. It's a big time sensation that has kicked off a new trend within the exercise and fitness industry and it's helping Americans to become healthier, so what's not to like about it?
14. Peloton offers thousands of different classes
We also learned that Peloton offers a broad selection of on demand classes for their subscribers. In fact, we were shocked to discover that the company offers over 4,000 different classes in their on-demand video lineup. In addition to this, they offer 14 daily live streamed sessions. Even though the bikes themselves are a bit on the expensive side, it's a one time investment that people seem willing to make because sales are up for the company.
15. Peloton is also the name for a big group of riders in a race
The name Peloton was the ideal choice for the company. Peloton defined is the main group of riders that collect together in a race. Although customers usually take part in the exercises solo in the comfort of their own homes, there are so many who are subscribed and exercising to the live streams and the videos that they qualify as a Peloton of riders.
16. Peloton is a multi-faceted exercise experience
The group at Peloton is highly interested in the perception that their subscribers have of the fitness workouts, as well as those who are still on the outside looking in. The workouts are much more than fitness cycling in a high-tech stationary bike. They include multiple dimensions of fitness training and the group at Peloton wants consumers to think about the workouts as being multi-dimensional. They include walking, strength training and yoga among other types of exercise. With more than four thousand different on demand workouts available, we're pretty sure that Peloton has covered almost all of the bases.
17. Peloton offers a dual core
When you talk about the industry that Peleton is best classified into it's fitness overall, but when you start getting down to brass tacks, it can fit into multiple categories. Production and sales of their stationary bikes that go for $1,995 are one thing. They also offer a treadmill for sale for around $4,000. Having said this, the equipment that they sell is a part of their program but it seems that an even bigger part are the on demand videos and the live streamed instructor led workouts. This also places them into the category of a business that provides live streaming services for a subscription fee.
18. Peloton indicated plans to expand outside of the US
We were wondering how such a sensation could remain within the borders of a single country. We recently learned that the Peloton company has plans to expand their sales and services on a global level soon. This will bring the convenience of home instructor led workouts to everyone on the planet.
19. Peleton stays on top of what their customers want
The Peloton company has made a commitment to serve its customers. In an effort to understand the changing demands of their clientele, the company has made it a habit to ask each of their subscribers to complete an annual survey. This is helpful in assessing how good of a job they're doing and if there are any things that the customers would like to see changed or added to the current subscriptions and workouts.
20. You can get Peloton on your phones
One of Peloton's latest tech ventures has been to create an app that will make their program downloadable onto digital phones. So far, they've created an app for iOS and they're also working on an app for Android phones as well. The new app is available for subscribers in the United States and Canada.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson