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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Peloton Interactive last night raised $1.16 billion in its IPO, giving it an initial market cap of around $8.1 billion.

Why it matters: It's a much-needed IPO win for both New York's tech startup market and lead banker J.P. Morgan, both of which were reeling from WeWork's spontaneous combustion.

Details: Peloton priced 40 million shares at $29, which was the high end of its range. Existing investor Technology Crossover Ventures plugged in another $100 million, via a concurrent placement. It will begin trading later this morning on the Nasdaq under ticker PTON.

  • Renaissance Capital reports that the $9.6 billion fully-diluted initial valuation is the highest such mark ever for a New York-based startup IPO.

ROI: The company had raised nearly $1 billion in VC funding, most recently at a $4.15 billion post-money valuation. Major backers include TCV, Tiger Global, Fidelity, True Ventures, and L Catterton.

  • Fidelity and Tiger Global also needed a returns reprieve. Fidelity has big stakes in both Juul and WeWork, while Tiger Global backed Juul.

Yes, there are doubters. Not just because of the faddish nature of fitness, but also because Peloton has grown exclusively in a growing economy. People may still work out during a recession, but lower-cost options are abundant. Plus, Peloton doesn't seem to have accounted for the possibility of widespread defaults on hardware financing plans. Expect some stubborn shorts.

I'm pretty bullish, probably because I own a Peloton and am a satisfied customer. Plus, Apple doesn't seem interested in playing in connected fitness hardware/software/media, even though that seems to be its sweet spot.

  • That said, Peloton missed an opportunity to offer IPO shares to users. It's a company that emphasizes "community" — its Facebook page engagement, for example, is insane — and owning a few shares could have engendered a sense of ownership for the purpose of further protecting against churn (at least on the outermost margins).
  • A "peloton" is a group of cyclists riding together.

The bottom line: Public market investors bought high into an unprofitable, VC-backed, tech company that pioneered a new category. Uber and WeWork aren't unicorns of the apocalypse. They're exceptions that prove the persistent rule.

Go deeper: Dissecting the customer acquisition costs of the latest unicorn IPOs

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Marketing to Generation Alpha

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Marketers are pouring money into figuring out the tastes and habits of Generation Alpha — kids born from 2010 through 2024 — who are unprecedented in the extent they're growing up online.

Why it matters: They're weaned on TikTok, Amazon and in-app purchases. They're learning from their millennial parents to hold brands accountable for causes like social justice and sustainability. And no prior age cohort will be as large in size or marketing power.