Peloton co-founders are starting Ernesta, a direct-to-consumer business selling custom rugs.
The venture has raised $25 million in investments from Addition, True Ventures, and others.
The business is launching in spring 2023 and entering a global market anticipated to reach $130 billion by 2030.
Former Peloton CEO John Foley and two other co-founders of the fitness-equipment company are starting a new direct-to-consumer venture – selling custom rugs. The venture, called Ernesta, is expected to launch in spring 2023.
On the company's website, Foley says the name Ernesta reflects his fascination with author Ernest Hemingway and also pays tribute to singer Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley. The company aims to bring "gorgeous, design-focused custom rugs to homes and places of gathering through an enjoyable, frictionless, and affordable experience," the website states.
The company promises a better buying experience for customers at the same price as a store-bought standard-sized rug.
Having raised $25 million from a Series A funding round led by venture-capital firm Addition, Ernesta is currently expanding its team and hiring for executive, managerial, marketing, and operations positions. The company will be entering a global carpets and rugs market anticipated to reach $130 billion by 2030.
The market is forecasted to rise 1.5% annually in 2024 to meet increased construction of new residential and nonresidential buildings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and higher spending on improvements and repairs to existing buildings in the US and Western Europe, according to The Freedonia Group, an international business research company.
Foley is Ernesta's CEO, with fellow Peloton founders Hisao Kushi serving as chief legal officer and Yony Feng as chief technology officer.
'A new space'
The three, along with Tom Cortese and Graham Stanton, founded Peloton, known for its high-end exercise bikes and treadmills, in 2012. Foley served as CEO until stepping down in February. He relinquished his executive chairman title in September, following months of controversy and reduced global demand at the beleaguered company. In a statement, he said: "Now it is time for me to start a new professional chapter. I have passion for building companies and creating great teams, and I am excited to do that again in a new space. I am leaving the company in good hands."
Other Ernesta founding team members also worked at Peloton, including former senior vice president Alan Smith; former vice president Jamie Beck; former senior director, operational excellence and engagement, Kristy Foss; former software and new product development executive Marissa Vivori, and former head of product design, Eric Hwang.
The company will be entering a crowded space dominated by direct-to-consumer rugs like Ruggable, Flor, Revival, and well-established home decor brands like West Elm and Crate & Barrel that also sell rugs.
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