Casper's CEO doesn't seem too concerned about the online mattress maker seeing its valuation take a major haircut during its public market debut.
"Valuations are just moments in time," CEO Philip Krim told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "This is obviously a huge milestone for us. ... It doesn't distract us from building the business we want to build."
Casper shares surged nearly 30% following the company's initial public offering Thursday morning, opening at $14.50.
Casper had priced its IPO at $12 per share, or the very low end of its target range, Wednesday evening. That was after it slashed its target price range, from $17 to $19 a share, to $12 to $13 per share.
The retailer has a valuation of about $575 million based on where shares opened Thursday. But at one point, as a private business, Casper was valued at $1.1 billion, giving it so-called unicorn status.
Like many Silicon Valley-backed start-ups looking to go public, however, the company has faced scrutiny for being unprofitable and for its high costs to acquire new customers and keep them. It also faces dozens of competitors in the industry, ranging from Amazon to Walmart to mattress maker Purple.
"To reach profitability, Casper must 'beat themselves' as well as they've beat others in the market — challengers and incumbents alike," said Web Smith, founder of 2PM. "They'll have to build their company like the early-stage retailers of old, long before the abundance of venture capital and rising [customer acquisition costs]."
Krim appeared upbeat at the New York Stock Exchange, where Casper shares started trading under the ticker symbol "CSPR."
"I feel awesome," he said. "It's been a great day. It's an awesome milestone for Casper. So I'm pumped."
Casper was named to CNBC's Disruptor 50 list in 2019.