London-based mattress retailer, Simba, has closed a £5,000,000 investment round from Spark Ventures and The Garage Soho, alongside a group of angel investors Tom Teichman, Nigel Wray, Richard Reed, the Jatania family, Adam Balon and Jon Wright. The proudly British business was founded in August 2015 by serial startup investor James Cox, Steve Reid, founder of Tribesports.com and mattress veterans McClements family.
Competition in the mattress market is heating up, according to Simba. Market research places the UK start-up at the forefront of what they call the ‘battle of the beds,’ leading by 20 per cent.
Simba initially secured backing from a series of heavyweight UK investors including Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Drinks, who engineered Innocent from a small stand at a music festival to an internationally renowned and respected giant.
The brand has also secured an exclusive deal with John Lewis; Simba mattresses are now on sale and display in all of the 45 stores.
CEO and co-founder of Simba Sleep, James Cox sees the company’s rapid growth as a result of its R&D. “This year has been incredible. Whilst Casper may have rushed to launch in the US with its memory foam based bed in a box offering – we knew from our research that we could create a premium offering which offers more comfort and support for over 95 per cent of the British public,” he said.
According to Cox, Simba was the first to develop the hybrid dual spring and memory foam mattress, which was then rigorously tested with the Sleep to Live Institute who have compiled data taken from 10 million people.
Simba’s online “bed in a box” concept lets consumers purchase rolled up and boxed mattresses that are delivered the next day. The company also has a 100-night return policy, which sounds a lot like Casper’s own marketing rhetoric.
But entrepreneurial investor Nigel Wray believes Simba has a clear product differentiation at an attractive price with a customer friendly mattress-in-a-box format. “Since launching in February, Simba’s remarkable growth is a testament to its product innovation and premium high–tech positioning,” he explained.
In seven months, Simba has sold over 15,000 mattresses worth £10 million.
For Cox, the speed at which his start-up has grown is proof of their product’s success. “Casper was only founded in the US in 2014 yet has achieved staggering results turning over $100 million last year alone. We are now leaders in the UK and will have launched across Europe, Asia and North America by the end of the year. We love the challenge and embrace the competition.”