DSG Consumer Partners and Sharrp Venturesfunded SleepyCat aims to reduce the cost spent on buying a mattress and invest in strong infrastructure, technology, team and new products to service its customers better.
“With many mattress varieties in the market, customers end up buying something that is not suitable for them,” opines Kabir Siddiq. He believes that the process of buying a mattress has become complicated, with a lot of fact and fiction confusing the buyer. This apart, the costs are high as it involves the manufacturing cost and a margin for everyone in the chain including manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers. This led Siddiq to look at this sector differently. He took inspiration from the Western market and brought in the bed-in a box mattress model to the country. “In this digital age, where the world is going online for even basic things like groceries, why leave mattresses behind?” asks he. Hence, with a mission of disrupting the sleep category, he incorporated SleepyCat in August 2017 as an online direct-to-consumer brand that develops and markets mattresses and allied sleep products in India thereby removing the middlemen in this business and reducing the overall cost of the mattress.
The brand has seen healthy traction in all channels with almost 1,500 mattress sales in a month and is among the top selling brands in Amazon. Its team has also grown to a current strength of 25. And hence, what started as a bootstrapped journey for Siddiq saw the entry of investors. DSG Consumer Partners and Sharrp Ventures led this first round of institutional funding with participation from Gemba Capital and other angel investors. The capital raised in this round will be invested towards building the online presence of SleepyCat through channel partnerships, new product launches and building out its management team.
“We have created an entire community and gone beyond just a perfect mattress and moving into sleep solutions with perfect pillow and sheets.”
All about the mattress
Box mattresses use advanced technology to easily roll-pack the mattress into a box that is one-third of its normal size. SleepyCat box mattress comes compressed, rolled, and shipped directly to the customer in a box that is easy to handle and is a convenient solution. The concept first originated in the US and is seen disrupting the traditional mattress industry all over the world now.
Siddiq started with just one SleepyCat Mattress and now the company offers three different mattresses for every type of sleeper – SleepyCat Plus 8 inch, the 7-Zone Latex Mattress and for the little tots there is SleepyCat baby mattress. It has also launched the Smart Base, Pillow and Mattress Protector. The SleepyCat mattress, which is available in all the standard sizes, has 1-inch of gel-memory foam and a 5 inch durable high – density base foam to provide support and bounce. It also comes with a zipper outer cover so it is easy to clean.
These mattresses, which are sold exclusively on Amazon, are available with a 30-day trial period and are delivered anywhere in India within 7-9 days in a box!
The vision of SleepyCat is not only limited to selling mattress to their consumers but also in contributing to the society. For every 10 mattress sold, the company donates one to those who need it.
Not without challenges
“Our initial challenge as a start-up was understanding the operational side of the business,” shares Siddiq. Logistics and warehousing is another challenge but the team is constantly learning and correcting its course wherever it can. It is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, warehousing, and manpower. “With the right resources we are now more stable and are ready to take on larger markets,” says the founder.
Knowledge is power they say. That’s why the company is always trying to educate its customer rather than try to sell the products. “Educating the mass will eventually lead to a larger market for us. Once the consumer is more aware of the product and our brand, it becomes easier for them to trust us,” says Siddiq. It is going strong on social media like Instagram, Facebook and has faced the benefit of word of mouth form of marketing.
Where to from here?
The company has had a good innings since incorporation and has come a long way. Siddiq is very optimistic about the future. He says, “Growth will be focussed on the products we offer. We have created an entire community and gone beyond just a perfect mattress and moving into sleep solutions with perfect pillow and sheets.” This expands the company’s market size. Not just this, while some of it are new products, the price is also low as it is directly supplied from the factory. “A similar mattress like ours will be double the cost,” says Siddiq. So different products and services are escalating the company’s growth perspective.
It has also strengthened its backbone support and operational departments and is planning to increase its team size. Going forward, the company wants to further enter online channels, and also do some backward integration, offer offline experiences to drive the growth of its online market. “Now our strategy will be to focus on building SleepyCat upwards – including newer products, a strong infrastructure, team and technology to be able to service our customers better,” Siddiq on a concluding note.
Founder: Kabir Siddiq
Year: August 2017
Investment: DSG Consumer Partners and Sharrp Ventures led this first round of institutional funding with participation from Gemba Capital and other angel investors.
Business Profile: Sleepycat is an online direct-to-consumer brand that develops and markets mattresses and allied sleep products in India. The brand’s current product portfolio includes memory foam mattress, latex mattress (for adults and babies), waterproof mattress protector, platform bed base and pillows. The company currently ships pan-India through their website and Amazon.