Casper Sleep Seeks to Wake up Wall Street

The mattress firm's IPO filing says it is the first company to serve the growing "sleep economy" in a "holistic" way.
Matthew HellerJanuary 13, 2020

Casper Sleep has filed for an initial public offering in a bet that investors will be awake to the potential of its “holistic” sleep solutions even though it has never turned a profit.

The bed-in-a-box pioneer said the growth of the “sleep economy” is accelerating as sleep becomes the “third pillar of wellness” alongside fitness and nutrition “as consumers begin to take their sleep and its impact on their health more seriously.”

“We want Casper to become the top-of-mind brand for best-in-class products and experiences that improve how we sleep,” it said in its prospectus, adding, “We believe we are the first company that understands and serves the sleep economy in a holistic way.”

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But The Wall Street Journal noted that Casper’s filing “revealed heavy losses to go along with sharp revenue growth, a mix that has drawn ire from public investors recently.” Casper incurred net losses of $92 million and $73 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

“Casper’s planned debut comes at a precarious time for startups trying to go public with heavy losses,” the WSJ said, citing the struggles of Uber, Lyft, and WeWork.

Casper, which was founded in 2014, was last valued at about $1.1 billion in an early 2019 private funding round.

The prospectus shows the company has grown at a 45.4% compound growth rate since 2016, bringing in $358 million in annual sales in 2018. The global sleep economy is expected to increase from $432 billion in 2019 to $585 billion by 2024, representing a 6.3% CAGR.

“Our offerings encompass traditional sleep categories for consumers, such as mattresses, soft goods, and bedroom furniture, and are increasingly focused on non-traditional categories, including products that promote the ideal ambience for sleep,” the prospectus says.

Casper warns, however, that “we have a history of losses and expect to have operating losses and negative cash flow as we continue to expand our business” and that “it is uncertain whether the demand for our sleep products and services will continue to grow and achieve wide market acceptance.”