8. Casper

Bed in a box

Founders: Philip Krim (CEO), Neil Parikh, Jeff Chapin, Gabe Flateman, Luke Sherwin
Launched: 2014
Headquarters: New York City
Funding:
$340 million
Valuation: $1.1 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
None
Industry:
Home furnishings

George Kavallines | CNBC

Remember when buying a new mattress meant going to a store and lying awkwardly on a few, trying to imagine what a full eight hours on it would feel like? The ordeal was so unpleasant that folks are now willing to order a mattress online — without ever laying a finger on it.

Casper launched in 2014, now has more than 1 million customers and last year did $400 million in revenue. In March it raised another $100 million in funding, bringing its total to about $340 million. It has been reported that the company, whose investors include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and rapper 50 Cent, is looking for underwriters for an IPO.

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When CEO and co-founder Philip Krim (there are four other co-founders) launched the company, making the mattress-buying experience better wasn't a big lift. Pushy salespeople, confusing jargon and high prices had made the whole ordeal miserable, so the idea of taking a chance on an online purchase wasn't such a reach. (A 100-night trial, free shipping and free returns help, too.)

The mattresses range in price from $695 for a twin to $3,495 for the king size of its most advanced mattress, the hybrid wave. Casper also has 20 retail stores around the country and says it has plans for 200 more. With retail partners including Costco, Nordstrom, Target, as well as American Airlines, its mattresses, pillows, bed frames and accessories are available at more than 1,500 retail destinations nationwide. Its latest product — Glow — is what the company calls a "magical light for better sleep."

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