This $20Bn Startup Founder Faced Many Rejections in the Early Days: The Peloton Story

Peloton, which is valued at $20Bn had a tough time raising its seed round and getting off. Here is an inspiring story of how Peloton founder, John Foley stayed at it.

2/ At 25, Foley made the jump to tech.

In ‘96 amid the dot com boom, he joined Citysearch.

A stark contrast to making candy in Waco, he loved working w/talented people on challenging, motivating projects.

After two years, he went on to Harvard Business School.

3/ Post HBS, Foley accepted a job at BMG Music, signing a lease in NYC.

It was 2001. The recession and Napster crushed the music industry.

His role at BMG was eliminated before he started.

Jobless for months, Foley’s brother-in-law hired him at Ticketmaster.

4/ Fast forward to 2010, Foley joined Barnes & Nobel.

Trying to compete with Amazon proved to be futile.

He’s 40 years old. Anxious. Wanting to prove himself.

Fortunately, he had an idea.

7/ Friends & family

With his wife’s blessing, Foley recruited cofounders and raised Peloton’s seed round.

A friends and family round, Foley raised $400K @ $2M post from 8 angels.

The plan: combine an off-the-shelf tablet w/an exercise bike.

If only it were that simple…

9/ New plan!

Peloton’s bike would be scratch-built.

But that’s expensive. They needed more money.

Foley was in his mid-40s. Had two kids.

He hit the fundraising trail to keep his business afloat.

10/ NO!

From 2011-14 Foley pitched 3,000 angels & 400 firms.

Almost everyone said no.

Eventually, he raised $10M from 100 angels.

Tiger Global was the first institutional investor earning $1.4B at IPO.

12/ The price is right!

Post-Kickstarter, $PTON launched a website.

The bike was priced at $1200.

Now, the product looked cheap.

They increased the price and sales increased!

Inspired by incredible threads from:

@kevinleeme @JoePompliano @tobydoyhowell @mariodgabriele @theSamParr @APompliano


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