This $200 Million Mattress Maker Is Waking Up the Sleep Industry
Casper’s founders reflect on their company’s fast growth–and ponder what’s to come. This story was originally published on Inc.com.
Editor’s Note: Inc. Magazine announced its pick for Company of the Year on Tuesday, November 29. It’s Riot Games! Here, we spotlight Casper, one of the contenders for the title in 2016.
If you listen to podcasts, spend any time whatsoever on YouTube, or ride the New York City subway, you’ve probably heard or seen Casper’s whimsical sleep pun-filled ads. “Join the ZZZZZ list,” one ad suggests. Another, which shows a woman entering her bedroom with a briefcase full of piglets, reads: “The perfect mattress for bringing home the bacon.”
The two-year-old New York City-based mattress maker gained notoriety after videos of customers “unboxing” their mattresses began proliferating online. The mattresses, which are compressed into a box the size of a small doghouse, unfold accordion-like in an instant. Naturally, with the internet fame, its sales have skyrocketed. Last year, in its first full year of business, Casper reported $100 million in sales. Philip Krim, the company’s co-founder and CEO, says it’s on track to double that figure by the end of 2016.
Neil Parikh, another co-founder, takes that forecast even further, giving Casper a trajectory rivaling the sales of giant public companies like Adidas and McDonald’s. Just how big might Casper get? “Twenty to 30 billion dollars,” Parikh deadpans.
They’ll need to sell a lot more product to get there. According to PrivCo, a New York-based private company research firm, the top eight mattress companies in the world–all of which have brick-and-mortar stores–dominate at least 38 percent of the industry’s retail market share. They’re led by Mattress Firm, based in Houston, which made $2.5 billion in 2015 revenue. The company was acquired in August by South Africa’s Steinhoff International, a holding company and discount retailer, for $3.8 billion.
“The advantage of Casper is that they’re going against a very old-school industry that just doesn’t care,” says PrivCo investment analyst Kashif Sheikh. “It’s taking advantage of a unique situation right now, but the incumbents will catch up at some point. These guys are seasoned.”
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