For many people or organisations, work is a major part of their business and life. They work. And they work, very often losing sleep. But there are only a few who work to make a business out of sleeping.
Two-year-old Wakefit is one such startup that makes and sells innovative memory foam mattresses, which are based on researches on sleep and spine support.
“The idea behind this company came up while Ankit Garg, co-founder at Wakefit was looking to buy a mattress. In his research, he observed that there was a lack of innovation in this space and knowledge gaps between what consumers were looking for and what companies were offering.
Because many of these companies were selling offline, there were distributors and middlemen involved which added to the cost of the mattress by 3x or 4x,” says Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, one of the two co-founders, other being Garg.
Wakefit manufactures products such as memory foam mattresses and pillows, mattress protectors and covers. The company claims that its products are made with genuine, pure foam that lasts long.
Wakefit USP: Full stack model enables it to cut middlemen
The USP of Wakefit lies in the fact that its products are made after extensive customer interviews and feedbacks.
“We visited over a hundred homes and took inputs from the customers, which were then incorporated into the product line. This customer-oriented approach underlines our entire operations, which forms the basis for our innovative products such as memory foam mattresses and pillows, mattress protector and mattress cover,” explains Chaitanya.
Wakefit, through intensive research, has managed to create one mattress for all body types using memory foam. The product is engineered on the parameters of pressure distribution, weight distribution, foam testing and stress testing. “Our research-driven product that suits all body types and climate conditions in India,” says Chaitanya.
Since the company ships mattresses directly from the factory to the customer’s home, there is no artificial inflation of prices, the co-founder claims. It has a professional support team and a 100-day risk-free trial so that customers can make the purchase without any worries. The company has teamed up with FedEx, BlueDart, City Transfer and others as its logistics partners.
The price of mattress varies according to the sizes. Mattress price starts at Rs 6,500 and goes up to Rs 30,000.
Business Model, Competition, and Growth
According to Wakefit, sales are on the rise in metro cities such as Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The company claims to do more business than some of the most established names in the online home accessories domain put together.
“We sell only online, through our own website Wakefit.co and marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart,” quips Chaitanya. Wakefit sells 400-500 units during the non-sale period on Amazon in a month. During sale season, it claims to sell 1200-1500.
Till date, the firm claims to have sold over 50,000 products to over 35,000 unique customers across India.
Currently, the company has a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru. From next month Wakefit plans to start another unit in Hyderabad, which has proved to be a third largest market for it.
At present, the company has more than 50-member team.
Wakefit, further plans to evangelize the brand and increase awareness and go deep into tier II towns. It plans to scale up the business by investing in more infrastructure across the country to reduce the delivery time period from the current timelines.
Mattress Market and Wakefit financials
According to Industry experts around 35 per cent of the mattress, the market is organized and the rest is serviced by a large number of small unorganized players.
The market size of the mattress industry is Rs 9,000-10,000 crores, which is growing at 9 per cent year-on-year (YOY) and will reach Rs 14,000 crore by 2021. The online penetration is less than 3 per cent and it is expected to grow to 6-7 per cent by 2021.
However, the company faces challenges when it comes to change the habits of people from shopping offline to online. “We call, we explain and we clarify buyers doubts. Sometimes, we invite them to our experience center to try it out,” says Chaitanya.
Presently, Wakefit claims to have market share in a range of 0.5-1 per cent. The company aspires to grab 5 per cent market share this year.
Being a bootstrapped firm, the company’s co-founders have invested more than Rs 1.5 crore in building assets.
In the year 2016, the company did a business of $1.5 Million. Moving forward in July 2017, the company turned profitable and now in 2018, it aims to achieve high sales. “This year by end of March we target $5 million in projected sales,” concludes Chaitanya.
Wakefit, after a steady journey, is now open to raising funds.