Buzzy sleep startup Casper just filed to go public — and spent nearly half a billion in marketing to get there

casper founders

  • Casper, the buzzy online mattress startup, filed to go public on Friday.
  • A company filing shows it spent about $422.8 million on marketing between January 1, 2016, through September 30.
  • It’s typical for a company to increase spending in sales and marketing before they file to go public, and Casper spent $113.9 million from January 2019 to September, a 23% increase year over year.
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The buzzy online mattress startup Casper filed to go public on Friday, submitting paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. 

The company’s filings revealed that while its net revenue grew to $357.9 million in 2018 from $250.9 million in 2017, net losses increased $92.1 million in 2018 from $73.4 million in 2017.

Casper spent nearly half a billion dollars on marketing from 2016 to 2019

Casper's expenses on sales and marketing

It’s typical for a company to increase spending in sales and marketing before it files to go public, and Casper spent $113.9 million in the run-up to its initial public offering between January 2019 and September, up 23% year over year. It spent nearly $422.8 million on marketing from January 1, 2016, to September 30, the company reported. 

But this was modest in comparison with other companies that have tried to go to public recently. Peloton spent $324 million in 2019 in the run-up to its IPO, while WeWork spent $378.7 million in 2019 before its botched IPO.

Casper has taken a nontraditional approach to marketing

Casper is known for its nontraditional approach to marketing. It has taken out quirky ads on the New York City subway, embraced the “unboxing” trend by encouraging customers to share videos of themselves opening their Casper mattresses, and launched a chatbot for insomniacs. It has opened pop-ups where people can nap and has run articles about sleep in Van Winkle’s, its content-marketing publication.

These efforts have helped increase Casper’s awareness, contributed to an 80% positive brand sentiment (according to Salesforce Social Studio), and led to an estimated 49 billion earned media impressions, Casper said in its filing. 

The company said it has a team of data scientists, statisticians, and engineers that has helped fuel nearly $3 of revenue, net of promotions, for every $1 in marketing spend.

Jeff Brooks, its chief marketing officer, left for the insurance company Lemonade in December.

SEE ALSO: Peloton boosted its marketing spend by 114% ahead of its IPO in its quest to win over a young, affluent audience https://www.businessinsider.com/peloton-ipo-filing-direct-to-consumer-marketing-2019-8

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