Peloton's pitch, a deadline at D.E. Shaw, and SoftBank's Deutsche Bank connection



Hello and happy Labor Day weekend!

First it was WeWork. Now it’s Peloton that’s aiming to go public. As my colleague Alexei Oreskovic wrote this week in his weekly Trending email (sign up here if you don’t already receive it), there’s more than just the red ink on their income statements that ties the two companies together. 

Both of these New York companies have garnered rich valuations in the private markets despite spiraling losses, they both have dual stock structures giving insiders 20 votes per share (one-upping the already controversial 10-votes-per-share norm of their Silicon Valley counterparts) and both stretch the definition of what it means to be a “tech” company.

Troy Wolverton previously spoke to Peloton investors to find out why they think the business is set to explode. And as Shona Ghosh reported, while Peloton played up its subscription business in its IPO filing, its hardware margins are actually more impressive than Apple’s. Peloton’s hardware margins were 44% in 2018, while Apple’s were about 30%.

Troy had some analysis on Peloton’s ultra-low churn rate. Peloton says only 0.65% of its subscribers cancel each month. Customer retention experts told Troy that number “doesn’t pass the smell test.” He also noticed that the company disclosed in its IPO paperwork that it had discovered problems with its internal controls.

The S-1 also lifted the lid on the extent of Peloton’s marketing spend, which increased by 114% ahead of its IPO in its quest to win over a young, affluent audience. Tanya Dua has the details there. 

Julie Bort meanwhile had a breakdown on the compensation packages of the top two execs, including CEO John Foley, with each getting $21.4 million.

One thing I found interesting in the IPO filing: There wasn’t a lot of information on the performance of Tread, the company’s $4,000-a-pop treadmill. I’ll admit to being a regular Peloton user and spin bike owner. New York’s a tough place to cycle around and the winters can be rough. I’m less clear though on the growth prospects for Tread.

What am I missing? What do you think to Peloton’s prospects? Let me know.

— Matt

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