As Peloton’s membership base continues its explosive growth, Peloton is trying to grow their team at the headquarters as well to keep up. Almost all teams are hiring at this time. One interesting job posting that appeared recently was in their Merger & Acquisition team – specifically for a “Senior Director, M&A Technical Diligence”. A summary of the job is as follows:
Peloton is looking for a passionate Senior Director, M&A Technical Diligence to help us vet and evaluate opportunities for growth through acquisitions, strategic investments, and partnerships. Reporting to the VP, M&A Diligence & Integration, this person will work cross-functionally with key stakeholders and potential targets, and will play a critical role in a wide range of M&A-related projects and transactions.
The M&A function sits within Peloton’s broader Strategy & Corporate Development team and is responsible for conducting competitive landscape research and identifying, evaluating, and executing M&A transactions, strategic investments, and partnerships that support the long-term strategy of the company.
Peloton is sitting on quite a bit of cash, so has the flexibility and capability to make some strategic acquisitions if the right opportunity arises. The person hired to this job would help Peloton look for the right company to acquire to compliment Peloton’s current offerings. It’s worth noting, the job listing mentions they would also look for teams to make investment & partnerships with as well, so Peloton is exploring many different avenues for growing at this time.
Peloton has previously acquired some companies. Last fall, it was announced that Peloton had acquired Tonic, one of their manufacturing partners. They also acquired Gossamer Engineering, a design engineering company. The previous year, in 2018, Peloton acquired Neurotic Media to help Peloton accelerate their development of music related features.
Looking at a few of the responsibilities of the job show us some of the different routes Peloton can take when looking at partnerships or acquisitions (this is not an exhaustive list, see the full job posting for that):
- Assess engineering personnel at M&A target companies for talent, capabilities, technical expertise and acumen, and culture fit
- Evaluate system architecture (e.g., cloud architecture, application architecture, enterprise architecture) and facilitate high level code reviews
- Assess M&A target Intellectual Property, algorithms and tradecraft
- Assess (or engage specialists to assess) M&A target software, APIs, hardware specifications, firmware, electronics, etc.
- Determine if there is a “there there” with potential technology-focused M&A opportunities, and determine whether the targets are worthy of conducting deeper dives and engaging key stakeholders from our core product development, e-commerce, and enterprise IT systems teams
One area we can safely assume Peloton is exploring (likely both through in-house R&D as well as possible acquisitions) is for something strength related. At the most recent earnings call, Peloton’s CEO John Foley stated “We’re clearly going to win cardio. And so strength is an important vertical for us to put a flag down on. Clearly, if you’re going to move all of your fitness programming into the home, strength is another compliment to your cardio we need to win”
Based on previous reports, we know that Peloton’s M&A team has been exploring that space. A report from this summer indicated that Peloton had approached a connected fitness strength maker, Tempo, about a possible acquisition. Peloton is also building up their internal strength team. In August, Peloton created a job listing for the “VP of Product Marketing for Peloton Strength”
A lot of users hope that Peloton might acquire Tonal, however, no rumors have surfaced yet of that being the approach Peloton will take here (though that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen). There are a number other players working on, or who have early versions of, connected fitness strength devices that could make acquisition targets for Peloton. Or Peloton could instead develop their own entirely in-house, though that might mean a much longer time to market for them.
If you’re interested in joining Peloton’s M&A Team, you can see the job posting on LinkedIn or through their job posting website, Greenhouse. Worldwide, Peloton has more than 500 open job positions as well – so if you’re looking for a job, and your specialty isn’t M&A, one of the other jobs posted might be the right fit for you.