Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) is on a spending spree that could take it in new directions. The at-home fitness equipment maker has acquired three start-ups that will take it into the realm of artificial intelligence, digital voice assistants, and wearable devices.

The purchases were actually made late last year, Bloomberg reports, and they apparently didn't cost a lot of money, but they came right around the time Peloton announced it was acquiring rival Precor. Previously, Peloton bought Peerfit, a digital health company, and before that, Silicon Valley design firm Gossamer Engineering.

The silhouette of a human AI head superimposed on digital lines and lights.

Image source: Getty Images.

The manufacturer of high-end exercise bikes and treadmills has been inundated with demand for its equipment because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that it has been unable to keep up with orders. Although the backlog in recent weeks is said to be easing some, many customers reported having to wait several months before receiving their workout gear.

The Precor acquisition was intended, in part, to give Peloton more capacity to produce more bikes and treadmills, but it also gave it the opportunity to expand into the commercial market. The latest acquisitions give it new technical capabilities:

  • Aquido is a developer of voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence that enhances voice commands on apps and devices.
  • Atlas Wearables is a maker of fitness-focused smartwatches.
  • Otari makes connected workout mats with built-in screens.

In Peloton's quarterly SEC filing last month, it revealed it had acquired three companies during the period for a total consideration of $78.1 million. Bloomberg reports Peloton said Aquino was not included in that figure, suggesting it was the acquisitions of Peerfit, Atlas, and Otari that were referenced.

It says the deals could have Peloton expanding in new areas, for example, making its own digital voice assistant, or adding new services.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.