DSG Consumer Partners and Sharrp Ventures have come on board as investors at SleepyCat based on strong traction. Led by Kabir Siddiq, the company is now gearing up for scale by expanding its product portfolio, strengthening its supply chain and a strong focus on customer orientation.
“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 supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers. This led Siddiq to look at this sector differently. He took inspiration from the Western market and decided to launch a “bed-in-a-box mattress” concept, that was designed for the Indian market.
“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 thereby removing the middlemen and reducing the overall cost of the mattress for the end user.
The brand has seen healthy traction through all its channels (primarily its own website & Amazon.in) with almost 1,500 mattresses sold in a month. 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 expanding the management team.
“We have created an entire community and gone beyond just a perfect mattress and moving into sleep solutions with perfect pillows and sheets.”
The Bed Matters, duh!
Box mattresses use advanced technology to easily roll-pack the mattress into a box that is one-third of its normal size. The SleepyCat box mattress comes compressed, rolled, and shipped directly to the customer in a box that is easy to handle. The concept first originated in the US and is seen disrupting the traditional mattress industry all over the world now. (US-based Mattress startup Casper was valued at US $1.1B after it raised its series-D in March 2019).
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 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 on Amazon in addition to SleepCat’s website, are available with a 30-day trial period and are delivered anywhere in India within 7-9 days.
For every 10 mattresses sold, the company donates one to people in need, bringing in a social impact angle to its business model and vision.
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 (primarily Instagram & Facebook), in addition to word-of-mouth from current customers.
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 pillows 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.
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 says, on a concluding note.
In Brief: SleepCat
Founder: Kabir Siddiq
Founded In: August 2017
Funded by: DSG Consumer Partners, Sharrp Ventures, Gemba Capital, Other Angel Investors
About the venture: SleepyCat is an online direct-to-consumer brand that develops and markets mattresses and allied sleep products in India. Its 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.