Casper Sleep Sees More Competition Ahead in Online Mattress Retailing

By Eliot Brown Features Dow Jones Newswires

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- Online mattress retailer Casper Sleep Inc. has attracted a crowd of competitors that offer to deliver mattresses in a box since it began in 2013, and Casper Chief Executive Philip Krim predicts that Amazon.com Inc. will eventually join the crowd.

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"I'm sure they're going to get into mattresses and a private label," Mr. Krim said of Amazon during an interview at The Wall Street Journal's WSJ D.Live technology conference. He said, though, that he thinks Casper "will always have a leg up" on the competition, given its investment in research and development.

"We're just trying to up our own game," he said. "Innovation and product should speak for itself."

Amazon already sells mattresses, but not private label. Amazon was not immediately available to comment.

Having raised about $240 million in venture capital, Casper is the best funded of a large crop of new online mattress sales companies that have sprung up the past few years. Money has rushed into the sector, as investors view the business model, selling foam mattresses that can compact into a shippable box, as appealing given they offer potential for more profits by bypassing mattress retailers.

Mr. Krim declined to discuss Casper's expected revenue for the year, although he said last spring that the company was operating on roughly the same pace as 2016, when it doubled revenue. He has said the company took in about $200 million in revenue in 2016.

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While the company's mattresses, pillows and sheets are squarely in the consumer goods category, it has attracted many tech-focused venture capital investors based on a promise to keep growing. Mr. Krim said he hopes to accomplish this by turning Casper into the first brand consumers turn to when they think about sleep-related products, even beyond mattresses, which he said are a market with $15 billion in annual sales in the U.S.

"We're going after big markets," he said. "We think that we can take real market share."

Write to Eliot Brown at eliot.brown@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 19:15 ET (23:15 GMT)