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Casper data signals growth heading into IPO - as legacy competitors lag

3 weeks ago by Julia Gray in IPO

This morning, mattress delivery startup Casper ($CASPER) is expected to make its IPO debut, in a turbulent market and at a time when investors are still leery on digital disruptors' IPOs. 

When Casper got its start in 2014, its promise was to deliver mattresses straight to your door. This was, at the time, a novel concept. But in 2020, this kind of on-demand service is the new norm. Ran out of booze at your party? Order Drizly and get alcohol within the hour! Need groceries? Try Instacart or Whole Foods via Amazon Prime. A mattress? You’ve got options. Casper now competes with brands like Purple, Tuft & Needle, Bear, Leesa, and Helix.

With the saturated world of mattress delivery, Casper has been expanding its offerings to include dog beds, “humidity fighting duvets,” and “glow lights.” The company has also invested in physical retail locations, pastel-colored spaces with house-shaped walls and semi-private “bedrooms” where you can try out different mattress varieties. Since 2018, they’ve grown from 18 to 55 stores by the end of last year.

The expansion hasn’t been cheap. The increase in physical Casper stores has necessitated a growing Retail team

According to CNN, the company spent close to $155M in 2018, up 23% from 2017. And while sales have increased by 23% to about $439M, Casper lost around $94M in the past year. 

Casper filed to go public last month but has since cut its IPO target share price, making it the second such high-profile IPO this year to do so. It’s now valued around $500M, down from $705M last week. Last year, Casper was valued at $1.1 billion - the unicorn has been de-horned. For its current investors - like retailer Target and venture backers IVP and NEA - there's still hope. One Medical, which just made its IPO debut, saw shares soar after making its market debut last week. 

Still, customer ratings continue to rise as traditional mattress retailers like Mattress Firm fall behind. America's largest bed store filed for bankruptcy back in 2018 (it has since emerged from Chapter 11). 

Today's consumers want their beds delivered with the speed and efficiency of a late-night pizza order.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Julia Gray

Julia is Thinknum's Innovation Editor. She also writes about music, art, and culture for the Washington Post, Playboy, Stereogum, Uproxx, and Paper Magazine.

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