Ernesta Team (L to R): Jamie Beck, COO; Marissa Vivori, VP, Product; Yong Feng, Chief Technology Officer; Hisao Kushi, Chief Legal Officer; John Foley, CEO; Kristy Foss, VP, People & Business Operations; Alan Smith, CMO; Eric Hwang, Head of Design.
NEW YORK – The three co-founders of stationary bike company Peloton have raised $25 million in a series A funding round for their new venture – a direct-to-consumer custom rug company called Ernesta.
John Foley, Hisao Kushi and Yony Feng plan to expand the custom category of the multibillion-dollar domestic rug market by offering residential and commercial buyers the option to purchase from a curated selection of rugs cut to fit their exact space.
Foley will serve as Ernesta CEO, with Kushi serving as chief legal officer and Feng serving as chief technology officer.
“I’ve always had a passion for design, and when I noticed how confusing and overwhelming the process can be for consumers who want great style at an accessible price point, particularly in the rug category, I saw a white space in the market,” said Foley.
“With Ernesta, our goal is to bring high-quality, custom rugs to a wide audience through a community-driven, curated and personal buying experience. Hisao, Yony and I are excited to work with a talented launch team, some of whom were part of the team that built Peloton into a household name, to help people find the perfect custom rug for their needs in a frictionless, affordable way.”
Foley said the global carpet and rug market is expected to reach $120 billion by 2030, with the current market fragmented across specialty retailers, mass retailers, designers and warehouses.
Consumers facing a landscape of home decor items backordered for months will enjoy a quick fulfillment experience through Ernesta, thanks to its agile, on-demand manufacturing process, the company said.
The founders of Ernesta have decades of experience working in the consumer tech space. In addition to Peloton, Foley has launched or led several other companies over the course of his career, including Proust.com, Pronto.com and Evite.com.
The financing was led by Addition with participation from True Ventures, along with other investors.
“I have known John for many years and continue to be impressed by his entrepreneurial drive and instinctive ability to anticipate what consumers want,” said Lee Fixel, founder of Addition. “The rug category is ripe for innovation and I look forward to supporting Ernesta to capitalize on this great market opportunity.
The company intends to launch to U.S. consumers in spring 2023.