Ever try to buy a mattress? There seems to be an overwhelming lack of transparency in the process with confusing and constantly changing pricing based on sales quotas, the weather, the salesperson, day of the week, and any other imaginable factor that should have nothing to do with your purchase. You’ve seen their ads on the subway and Casper is changing that by reengineering not only the mattress buying experience but also the mattress itself to the praise of consumers. Hot off of a $55M Series B round, the company is not stopping disrupting a market where every single person on the planet is a potential customer. We all need to sleep!
Today, Philip Krim, Casper Cofounder and CEO, joins us today to discuss the recent funding, the future direction of the company, and everything related to mattress distribution disruption.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise? Was it seed, Series A, B, etc?
Casper’s $55M Series B investment round was led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).
Tell us about your product or service.
Casper is an award-winning sleep startup that launched with an outrageously comfortable mattress sold directly to consumers — eliminating commission driven, inflated prices. The critically acclaimed sleep surface was developed in-house by a team of product engineers with experience from IDEO, has a sleek design, and is delivered right to your door in a small, “how did they do that?” sized box.
What inspired you to start the company?
Retail giants that make up the $14 billion mattress industry spend millions of dollars each year on unnecessary sales gimmicks and seedy practices, forging a shopping experience that is confusing, frustrating, and exhausting. Casper decided to take the mattress corporations head on and create a brand that offers consumers premium sleep at an affordable price. We hired a team of world-class designers to completely re-engineer the mattress, and the result is an expertly crafted and universally comfortable mattress with a singular design, complete with proprietary latex foam.
How is it different?
The singular design creates a simplified shopping experience for customers, and by eliminating the middle-man and selling directly to customers online, Casper mattresses are priced at a fraction of the competitors — starting at $500 — and come complete with same-day delivery in a golf-bag sized box, making the entire process seamless and effortless for the customer.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
The good thing about selling a mattress is that everybody sleeps. Our mattress was universally designed to appeal to every demographic.
What’s your business model?
Our business model centers on removing retail costs and re-engineering the supply chain in order to create a better mattress at a fraction of the traditional cost. By making the Casper from superior, resilient materials, we are able to compress and ship the bed in cost effective, and most importantly, a convenient way. By maintaining control over the entire production process and selling direct to consumer, we can profitably sell the Casper for three times less than what it would cost in a store.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Casper has won awards for its mattress, its business, and its founders.
With at least $55M in the bank, what’s next? What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
The new investment will provide the company with the resources to further its innovation arm, Casper Labs, and engineer, test, and launch new products on a faster timeline. Since our launch just 14 months ago, Casper has been inundated with requests for more sleep products. Our customers have asked for everything from pillows to slippers to dog beds — and we’re exploring every product category you can imagine in the realm of sleep. We’re excited to launch new products with the same dedication to design and engineering that allowed us to develop our universally comfortable mattress. And we’re equally thrilled to bring these products to a larger audience.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Your customers are your best resources. We attribute a large part of our initial success and growth to the testimonials, word-of-mouth reviews, and social media posts from our sleepers. We communicate with our customers every step of the way. The relationship we have them only starts when they purchase. We make sure to consistently follow up to ask how they’re sleeping, help entertain them through social media when they’re falling asleep at work, and engage them in our growth and development through their participation in Casper Labs.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We have immediate plans to expand Casper’s research and development staff, increase the company’s headcount beyond its current 75 employees, and begin laying the groundwork for international expansion and future products.
What’s your favorite NY bar, when you need to kick back and relax?
The Bowery Hotel, almost always drinking a dirty martini on the rocks.