• Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
  • PDF

Custom Rug Market Next Target for Peloton Founders with Launch of Ernesta Set for Spring 2023

Ernesta, a new direct to consumer custom rug venture by Peloton founders, secures financing from Addition,True Ventures and others.

Group shot of Peloton founder with Ernesto
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 -- Ernesta (ernesta.com), a new direct-to-consumer custom rug company launched by John Foley, Hisao Kushi and Yony Feng – three co-founders of Peloton – today announced it has raised $25 million in a Series A funding round. The financing was led by Addition with participation from True Ventures, along with other investors.

Using research from Custom Market Insights, which projects that the global carpet and rug market is expected to reach $120 billion by 2030, Ernesta also points to findings that the current market is fragmented across specialty retailers, mass retailers, designers and warehouses. Ernesta plans to expand the custom category of the multibillion-dollar domestic rug market by offering residential and commercial buyers the option to purchase from a thoughtfully curated selection of rugs cut to fit their exact space. A press release from the startup says 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.

Foley will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Ernesta, with Kushi and Feng serving as Chief Legal Officer and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. In addition, the founding team includes:

Chief Marketing Officer Alan Smith, who spent the past five years at Peloton, most recently as Senior Vice President, Demand Gen, Analytics, Consumer Insights and Membership, and previously held leadership roles at Verizon, Assembly and Essence; Chief Operating Officer Jamie Beck, who most recently was Executive Vice President, Operations at The Shade Store and previously was Senior Vice President of Global Final Mile and Vice President, Field Operations at Peloton and, prior to that, held roles at Fresh Direct and Target; VP, People & Business Operations Kristy Foss, who spent nearly nine years at Peloton, starting out on the founding retail team and then holding several senior roles on the People team, most recently as Senior Director, Operational Excellence & Engagement; VP, Product Marissa Vivori, who was most recently Head of Product at Odela and, previously, spent four years at Peloton where she led software for the rower and oversaw software product for new product development; and Head of Design Eric Hwang, a Graphic Designer and Photographer who is a former Head of Product Design at Peloton and Vice President of Product & Design at IAC.

"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."

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, three IAC-backed businesses.

Additionally, Foley served as President of E-commerce at Barnes & Noble, and held leadership positions at companies such as Mars and Citysearch earlier in his career. Kushi also spent many years at IAC, as Chief Operating Officer of Evite.com, as well as Vice President and General Counsel of several IAC brands, including Gifts.com, Evite.com, Pronto and Citysearch. And Feng, prior to Peloton, held technology roles at such companies as Ticketfly.com, Skype and Cisco Systems.

"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."

Jon Callaghan, co-founder of True Ventures, added: "I've long been a big believer in John Foley and his ability to see gaps in the market and turn ideas into reality. We are thrilled to be able to support his latest venture and look forward to watching him create magic again, this time in a whole new category."

Ernesta, which can be found at ernesta.com, intends to launch to U.S. consumers in spring 2023. Once live, the site plans to offer a wide variety of materials and options for custom rugs at an accessible price range, as well as bespoke delivery in certain key markets.

trans-ocean ad spot hri rugs