9. Peloton

On-demand workouts

Founders: John Foley (CEO), Tom Cortese, Yony Feng, Graham Stanton, Hisao Kushi
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: New York City
Just under $1 billion
Valuation: $4.2 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Live streaming
Cycling, hardware, video streaming

George Kavallines | CNBC

First there was the bike, then the treadmill, and now Peloton is offering practically every other way to get your heart rate up. The New York City-based fitness technology company sells high-end stationary bikes ($2,200) and treadmills ($4,200) — and $39-a-month live-streamed classes that allow users to get a workout right in the privacy of their own homes. In June 2018 the company introduced Peloton Digital, an app with on-demand, unlimited, instructor-led classes covering boot camp workouts, strength training, yoga and cardio, all for about $20 a month.

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Despite high prices, the company claims to have sold more than 450,000 pieces of fitness equipment so far and revenue is estimated to hit $700 million this year. That number is likely to grow rapidly as it recently began shipping bikes to the U.K. and Canada, the first step in its global expansion. Later this year, Peloton will open its first London-based studio.

Peloton — the name refers to the main group of riders in a race — was started in 2012 by John Foley, Tom Cortese, Yony Feng, Graham Stanton and Hisao Kushi. (Foley is CEO; the others all have roles in the company.) The concept came about after the group, who loved cycling, could never find classes that fit their schedules — and working out at home never seemed to be tough enough. So they decided to create a next-generation indoor bike and stream classes that would simulate a cycle studio experience.

Members, including the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Hugh Jackman and Kate Hudson, can access more than 10,000 on-demand workouts, including running, cycling and yoga. Instructors are recruited from top fitness studios from around the world.

The idea has attracted close to 1 million users, claims the company, and plenty of money. It's raised close to $1 billion, with $550 million of that coming from venture firm TCV of Menlo Park, California, in August. The company has been valued at over $4 billion and is reportedly speaking with banks about an IPO this year.

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