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Peloton co-founder John Foley is a rug guy now


What Ernesta’s round tells us about today’s VC market

John Foley clearly didn’t take (ahem) a brake after leaving Peloton.

The former co-founder and CEO of the connected fitness company — who stepped down as CEO in February and left the company altogether in September — is back with a new startup.

Ernesta, which aims to launch in spring 2023, will sell custom rugs through a direct-to-consumer strategy. It has already raised a $25 million Series A round from a slate of investors that also backed Peloton, including True Ventures and Lee Fixel, through his current firm Addition.

It’s not surprising to see Foley getting back into the startup game by any means — venture capital both embraces failure and loves a good comeback story. Plus, there are plenty of previous examples of this happening involving folks who left companies on much worse terms than Foley did. But this deal is particularly interesting — even when you look past the seeming randomness of it.

For one thing, comeback stories in venture don’t generally start in the same calendar year that the previous tale ended in. And Foley’s ability to quickly raise such a sizable round before the company’s launch actually tells us quite a bit about where the market is at right now.



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