SoulCycle Inc. is giving new meaning to the term “sweat equity.” Beloved by high-profile celebrities such as the actress and talk-show host Kelly Ripa, Victoria Secret’s model Karlie Kloss and former soccer player David Beckham, the indoor-cycling fitness chain filed for a $100 million initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week. In conjunction with the company’s Wall Street debut, it will spun off by its current owner, the privately held luxury-gym chain Equinox Holdings Inc.
Here are five things we learned from SoulCycle’s Form S-1 filing with the SEC:
SoulCycle is more than a business, “it’s a movement.”
SoulCycle has a following that includes business leaders and celebrities who are drawn to the idea of a meditative fitness experience. “SoulCycle isn’t in the business of changing bodies: It’s in the business of changing lives,” the company says in the filing.
The New York-based firm was founded in 2006 and has transformed from a single, 31-bike indoor-cycling studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan into a high-growth lifestyle brand. It’s attracted a cult following of about 235,000 riders in 38 studios across seven U.S. metropolitan areas, with 23 of them in the New York metro area.
SoulCycle also has 11 locations in California, as well as studios in Boston, Washington and southern Florida.
SoulCycle isn’t cheap, which means it brings in big revenue.
The price of a single class is $34. Add in $3 for the rental of shoes and $2 for a water bottle, and you’re already spending almost $40 per session. But that hasn’t stopped SoulCycle’s cult following.
Last year, the company posted revenue of $112 million, with studio fees alone accounting for close to 84 percent of its total revenue. In the January-March quarter, the firm’s earnings grew nearly 50 percent, to $8.1 million, on revenue of $34.8 million.
SoulCycle is a “cardio party.”
SoulCycle isn’t your typical fitness experience. Its studios average 72,000 rides per week, and 30 percent of its weekly rides are reserved within the first 15 minutes of availability in what the company calls the “Monday at noon” frenzy when riders can select classes for the coming week.
“Set in a dark, candlelit room to high-energy music, our riders move in unison as a pack to the beat, and follow the cues and choreography of the instructor,” the company says in its SEC Form S-1. “The signature class includes approximately 35–40 minutes of riding, a five- to eight-minute upper-body strength series using hand weights and a three-minute cooldown stretch.”
SoulCycle could be an “at-home” experience soon.
SoulCycle wants to expand beyond its studios into digital and retail content. “We believe there is also an opportunity to expand SoulCycle class content to an at-home audience,” the company said. But the firm didn’t provide details of its plans.
SoulCycle also sees opportunities in retail. It already has a branded line of apparel, including silver retail bags that can be seen in airports, on street corners and in households across the country. In addition, the bags can be seen on the shoulders of celebrities such as the actress Reese Witherspoon after leaving the gym.
SoulCycle will go public led by former Equinox executives
SoulCycle is being spun off by the luxury-gym chain Equinox Holdings, which owns 97 percent of its shares. Former Equinox executive Melanie Whelan, who joined SoulCycle in 2012 as chief operating officer, was appointed its CEO. Larry Segall, who served as Equinox’s chief financial officer for 10 years, was named SoulCycle’s CFO. Co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice serve as co-chief creative officers.
SoulCycle did not set an IPO date in its SEC filing, and it noted neither the number of shares to be made available nor their price. The company also did not specify whether its equity would be trading on the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.