Casper wakes up the competition with $1.1B valuation
Casper on Wednesday joined two other retail startups in as many weeks to achieve unicorn status, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. The mattress startup reached a post-money valuation of $1.1 billion after raking in an additional $100 million in its latest funding round.
The new capital comes from returning investors NEA, IVP, Norwest and Target, as well as a few new investors, including Dani Reiss, chairman and CEO of Canada Goose, and Gordon Segal, founder and former chairman of Crate & Barrel.
At the same time, Casper announced the appointment of two new board members: Karen Katz, former CEO of Neiman Marcus, who sits on the board of that retailer as well as Under Armor, and Reiss.
Five years after its founding, Casper has hit a milestone most startups strive for by reaching a valuation of over $1 billion. That has also generated rumors that the company is looking to file an IPO, although a company spokesperson declined to comment to Retail Dive on those reports.
Either way, the additional funding puts Casper in a good place and the startup intends to use the fresh funding to "fuel Casper's category leadership and omnichannel growth," including wholesale and e-commerce channels, as well as its fleet of brick-and-mortar stores, which is projected to reach 200 by 2021.
The past year has been a big one for the company, which not only won Retail Dive's Startup of the Year award for the impact it's had on the rest of the industry, but also continued to blaze ahead with new launches — including a smart nightlight — which aim to brand it as a sleep lifestyle company that sells more than the mattresses that gave Casper its start.
It's a trend that's happening across the board at direct-to-consumer companies, many of which start with one key product and then expand into related product categories, hoping to be identified as the go-to lifestyle company in their space, whether that be sleep, travel or something else entirely. Just in the past week and a half, two other startups — Rent the Runway and Glossier — reached the same coveted status, and all three are bent on growing beyond their beginnings.
While Casper announced that revenue for 2018 topped $400 million, plans for growth are nowhere near their end, according to Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO.
"We are in the very early chapters of our growth story as demand for Casper products continues to expand across the globe," he said in a statement. "Today's financing accelerates Casper's vision to become the world's largest end-to-end sleep company. Our growth will continue to be catalyzed by state-of-the-art sleep products, best-in-class customer experiences, and world-class leadership."
- Retail Dive 30 minutes with Casper's head of marketing
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