Feb 6, 2020
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Casper, the Mattress Start-Up, Goes Through With Lackluster I.P.O.

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Casper’s lower I.P.O. valuation was just a moment in time, he said. “That doesn’t change what we’re focused on at Casper,” Mr. Krim said, “which is building the world’s first sleep brand.”

The company’s disappointing initial public offering follows a year of letdowns for Silicon Valley’s high-profile start-ups. Public market investors have shown more interest in profitable companies serving other businesses, like Zoom Video Communications, a teleconferencing company, and Tradeweb, an electronic trading platform.

This year, the I.P.O.s of 1Life Healthcare, a membership-based health care service, and Reynolds Consumer Products, the household goods company, have also soared.

Before it went public, Casper had been the toast of the start-up world. The company shook up a stodgy mattress industry by selling beds online, delivering them to peoples’ doorsteps in boxes the size of mini-fridges.

To lure customers from traditional department stores and mattress chains, Casper heavily advertised itself on subways, podcasts, television and through quirky marketing campaigns.

“They transformed the way people buy mattresses, sort of forever,” said Ben Lerer, an early investor in Casper through the investment firm Lerer Hippeau. “People didn’t buy mattresses online before Casper existed and now they do.”

Venture investors poured more than $340 million into the company, according to Crunchbase, and Casper began calling itself the “Nike of sleep,” selling pillows, sheets, dog beds and other accessories to what it termed the “sleep economy.”

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