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New York ecommerce startup Casper starts shipping its uber-comfy mattresses — and sales go through the roof

Casper, the New York e‑commerce start­up spe­cial­iz­ing in unique­ly engi­neered “super pre­mi­um” mat­tress­es, has start­ed ship­ping its prod­uct just two months after bank­ing $1.6 mil­lion in seed fund­ing. And any e‑commerce ana­lysts out there who think that buy­ing a mat­tress online sounds weird (how do you know if it’s com­fy?) will need to think again: ear­ly sales have been going “phe­nom­e­nal­ly well”, accord­ing to Casper’s co-founder and CEO Phillip Krim.

A mat­tress in a box

Actu­al­ly, e‑commerce ana­lysts who read about Casper’s seed fund­ing in Feb­ru­ary may have had their curios­i­ty stirred and frus­trat­ed at one and the same time. At that point, the com­pa­ny was keep­ing its prod­uct under a veil, save to say that it had been spe­cial­ly engi­neered from top qual­i­ty mate­ri­als yet would have a very afford­able price tag. Now that it’s been launched, how­ev­er, the cat is out of the bag.

Or rather, the mat­tress is out of the box. Lit­er­al­ly. Mat­tress­es are shipped after being com­pressed into a box that’s no big­ger than a set of golf clubs, mak­ing Casper the first mat­tress com­pa­ny capa­ble of send­ing its prod­uct to cus­tomers via bike messenger.

But, busi­ness-savvy e‑commerce ana­lysts take note: it’s not just the engi­neer­ing that sets Casper mat­tress­es apart. It’s the uber-effi­cient sup­ply chain too. By cut­ting out the retail show­room fac­tor (you can still take a test flight on the mat­tress at the company’s NoHo office), and par­ing down the sup­ply process, Casper offers a fab­u­lous prod­uct that would con­ven­tion­al­ly cost between $3,000 and $4,000 for under $1,000.

Genius design, out­ra­geous com­fort 

The firm’s Cre­ative Direc­tor and fel­low co-founder Luke Sher­win says that the tra­di­tion­al method of buy­ing a mat­tress is “bro­ken”: it’s impos­si­ble to get a mean­ing­ful impres­sion of the actu­al sleep expe­ri­ence from show­room mat­tress just by lying on it for a few min­utes. Casper has a 40-day return win­dow, allow­ing cus­tomers to real­ly sleep on the mat­tress first.

The mat­tress is fiendish­ly and clev­er­ly designed: by plac­ing a lay­er of airy latex foam above a lay­er of mem­o­ry foam, it deliv­ers the boun­cy feel you’d expect from a spring bed while offer­ing all of the anatom­i­cal sup­port of mem­o­ry foam – with­out that slight­ly off-putting “stuck in” feel­ing straight mem­o­ry foam often leaves you with.

The result? As Krim puts it, “An out­ra­geous­ly com­fort­able bed.”

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