The race is on for flashy IPOs

Bike race funny


Welcome to the pre-Labor Day edition of Trending, the weekly newsletter highlighting the best of BI Prime's tech coverage. This is Alexei Oreskovic, Business Insider's Global Tech Editor and West Coast Bureau Chief.

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This week: The race is on for flashy tech IPOs

Hot on the heels of WeWork's S-1 filing, Peloton, the maker of that pricey exercise bike your boss loves, has taken the wraps off its IPO paperwork.

There's a lot of similarities between these two companies, and I'm not just taking about all the red ink on their income statements.

Both of these New York companies have garnered rich valuations in the private markets despite spiraling losses, they both have dual stock structures giving insiders 20 votes per share (one-upping the already controversial 10-votes-per-share norm of their Silicon Valley counterparts) and both stretch the definition of what it means to be a "tech" company. If you're not yet a subscriber to Trending, BI Prime's tech newsletter, you can sign up here.Advertisement

Peloton's internet-connected exercise bikes let users tap into live spin classes that are all the rage among techies. But lest you think of it as a mere fitness-equipment company, Peloton's S-1 explains that it is both a "global technology platform" and a media company.

Get ready for a reprise of the loud debates we've heard about WeWork, which has a business that's arguably more akin to an old-fashioned real-estate company than a tech company.

As Troy Wolverton lays out in a series of reports and analyses on WeWork, much of the wariness about WeWork can be distilled into two very large, yet imbalanced, financial metrics at the heart of its business. And with WeWork trapped by its hefty $47 billion private market valuation, and staring down a wall of skepticism, at least one prominent critic thinks there's a chance the IPO might not happen at all. Advertisement

Read the full story:

2 big numbers - $4 billion and $47 billion - sum up WeWork's business model and the risky reason it could collapse in a recession

Screen Shot 2019 08 27 at 10.34.41 PM

And from the "Only in Silicon Valley" file:

You've got to read Julie Bort's report about the latest legal dispute involving Oracle and Larry Ellison to believe it.

The lawsuit involves Oracle's $9 billion acquisition of NetSuite, a company that Ellison founded and owned a 40% stake in. OK, that's not a great look.Advertisement

But here's where it gets really weird: A special committee of Oracle board members, tasked with investigating the matter, decided to allow the shareholder who filed the lawsuit to act on Oracle's behalf in the lawsuit. In other words, Oracle, the corporation, is suing Ellison, the chairman and founder of Oracle. If the case goes to trial (which is still a big if), it's going to be a fun one to watch.

Read the full story:

Oracle is suing Larry Ellison and Safra Catz over the $9 billion NetSuite deal, thanks to a letter written by 3 Oracle board members

Larry Ellison and Safra Catz

Other recent tech highlights:

And more from across the BI newsroom:

Thanks for reading, and if you're in the US, enjoy the long holiday weekend,