October 9, 2015
Melanie Whelan, the CEO of SoulCycle since June, is leading the nearly ten-year-old company towards its IPO, as well as its expansion. Not only is Whelan on the list of female CEOs and Fortune’s 40 Under 40, but she is also running a pre-IPO company that is already profitable, which is rarely the case.
Last year, SoulCycle saw $26.5 million in net income, compounded by $112 million in sales. Starting as a single studio in Manhattan, the chain now has 38 studios nationwide across 7 cities, and is not slowing down.
SoulCycle will be separating from its Equinox ownership, who holds 97% of the company’s stake. Through the transition, Equinox is to provide legal advice and general corporate management services for one year, and real estate leasing and capital improvement related services for two years. On the financial side, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will lead the IPO.
In her interview with Fortune, Whelan shares the greatest challenges and rewards in leading SoulCycle’s business and expansion. Additionally, she explains that each studio is run like its own entrepreneurial business where connection and client experience are integral to success.
As the first to enter the “boutique fitness” realm, she is powered by the philosophy, “We are only as good as our last ride.” For SoulCycle, it seems like the ride is just beginning.