Peloton IPO: Here are the Early Investors That Are Poised to Cash In

August 29, 2019, 3:46 PM UTC

Cult fitness company Peloton released their IPO filing on Tuesday, making it the newest member of the high-cash-burn club to go public this year (think Uber, Lyft, and soon WeWork).

While Peloton’s prospectus outlined a mission that apparently “sells happiness” (among other things), the fitness company has managed to raise a total of over $994 million in private funding rounds. And with over a 100% growth rate and a valuation in the billions, some early-stage investors may be getting ready for a big payday.

The bike-slash-workout-program company’s latest funding round (to the tune of $550 million) puts Peloton’s valuation at around $4 billion. But amid rumors of the fitness company seeking an $8 billion valuation at their IPO, those like Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, a provider of institutional research and IPO ETFs, are wary of how much early-stage investors will actually make from its debut.

“Remember that these insiders won’t realize their value until 180 days after it trades, so it would be of some interest to make sure the initial pricing gets into ‘escape velocity’ [for these early investors],” Smith says, referencing how an IPO may be priced by overshooting in order to fall back into a stable pattern.

The fitness company’s largest investor is Tiger Global Management, with just under a 20% stake in Peloton with 46,721,427 shares, according to the company’s S-1 filing. Tiger bought in early to Peloton in Series B funding at $1.42 per share, according to PitchBook. Since their initial investment, Tiger also invested in Peloton’s Series C round at $2.22 per share (and later Series F). And the kicker? Since Tiger first invested in the fitness company in 2014, Peloton’s valuation has increased from around $35 million to over $4 billion. To boot, the company’s latest funding round sold shares for over $14 per share (up some 916% from Tiger’s first buy-in).

But close behind with a 12% stake (28,369,274 shares) is investor True Ventures, who first got in on Peloton in Series C funding at $2.22 per share in 2015 (and again in Series D, E, and F). Other venture heavy-hitters bought in slightly later in Series E funding, led by the likes of Wellington Management, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Fidelity Investments, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers—propelling Peloton’s valuation over the $1 billion mark for the first time.

However, for those investors who got in late in the game in Peloton’s Series F funding (like new investors Felix Capital, G Squared, Winslow Capital Management, and Technology Crossover Ventures to name a few), the payoff may not be quite as impressive.

Several of the highly-valued companies to IPO this year (namely Uber and Lyft) had tepid debuts in the stock market. And Renaissance’s Smith believes this may be due to both excess capital in the private markets and incorrect IPO pricing.

In fact, Smith suggests that Peloton, unlike high-burn-rate companies Uber and Lyft, needs to price their IPO right if they want to avoid dipping below their offering price months into their debut (and disappointing private investors who are locked in). Both Uber and Lyft are currently trading at at least 20% below their IPO prices. And to Smith, “since money has been so prolific in the private market, there is excess valuation in the private markets [and] there is concern for the private investors,” she says.

“These IPOs don’t want to be priced to perfection on Day 1, they need to be priced to perfection for the next couple months so it doesn’t collapse below its IPO price,” Smith says.

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