A line of suit-wearing money managers snaked outside the ballroom of the Lotte Palace Hotel in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, where buzzy exercise company Peloton was set to give its IPO pitch. But many weren't there to press Peloton CEO John Foley or CFO Jill Woodworth on financials.
Rather, they were much more interested in a selfie with Peloton star fitness instructor and vice president of programming Robin Arzon. Clad in a below-the knee pink tutu, Arzon posed for photos with fans whose only interaction with her previously was live-streaming her classes onto their $2,000 bikes. Other instructors also stood by a mini-gym setup outside the Villard ballroom, ready for pictures in front of a bike, $4,000 treadmill, and yoga mat with two hand weights.
"When I was walking in I see these two big lines, and I thought it was for registration, and it turns out it was for taking selfies with the instructor folk," one attendee said. "That's insane. People are obsessed."
Another roadshow attendee told Business Insider he knew going into the meeting that he won't invest in the company – he was just there because he's a loyal customer. A half dozen attendees said they use the bikes, and many mentioned spouses who do, too.
"I kind of felt weird about eating dessert in a crowd like this, I mean everyone is so fit and attractive," one attendee told Business Insider. Dessert for the lunch was an apple tart, many of which were untouched after the event.
Money-losing Peloton is set to price its highly anticipated IPO mid-next week in an offering that could value the company at around $8 billion.
But it's been a rough road this year for richly valued, high-profile startups to list on the public markets. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are trading below their IPO prices, while coworking startup WeWork has delayed its public offering after a chilly reception from investors.
Last week, Peloton management made stops in Frankfurt and London, before hitting New York and Boston. Next week they're set to meet with investors in San Francisco, and potentially the Midwest, before the IPO prices on Wednesday, according to a copy of the roadshow schedule seen by Business Insider.
While Peloton describes itself as both a media company and a global technology platform, one money manager told Business Insider he's comparing it to companies like Roku and Netflix. Another attendee said he was struggling with comparisons, calling the business model "good, not great."
Peloton executives Foley and Woodworth and president William Lynch all spoke at the event. While executives highlighted that the average Peloton user who owns the equipment does 24 workouts per month, a pair of attendees debated that statistic after the presentation, comparing their own schedules to understand if that could be true.
Another said company executives stressed its penetration beyond upper-class households – Peloton says its biggest-growing market is people making under $75,000 a year. Compared to other subscription platforms like Hulu and Netflix, the company said its subscriber and user churn is much lower.
Ahead of the luncheon, one attendee said he wanted to understand Peloton's potential liability stemming from a pending music copyright lawsuit.
The roadshow swag bag was emblazoned with the Peloton logo and contained a branded hat and water bottle. At least one attendee seemed sold on the company personally and professionally.
"For $40 a month, you get so much," he said, referring to the cost of Peloton's streaming service. "I love the bike. It's a great business." When asked if he'd buy into the IPO, he said, "totally."