Jas set out, with 3 of his friends, to sell a premium quality mattress at a third of the price. They saw that mattresses were typically seen as commodities and boring, that most people dont care to know the brand of their current mattress. They are shaking up the industry by building a fun brand around mattresses, sort of like what Apple did a few years ago in the commoditised PC space. Read the full interview below.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I worked with Rocket Internet in Germany since 2008 on a number of their portfolio companies (Zalando, Groupon etc). That gave me an intro to the startup world and in 2011 I started my 1st company with my friends. I have 3 co-founders. 1 is my childhood best friend, 1 is my cousin and 1 is a friend from university. We’re all pretty much generalists but between us we get most things done.
When we started selling mattresses in 2011 online, we realized there were no brands in the space, just a sea of ugly commodities. We launched Eve because we wanted to build a great consumer brand in a space that is traditionally very boring. That struck us as kind of weird as the bed is a fun and personal space. Our first company we bootstrapped and were relatively successful growing it to $20m a year in revenue and selling mattresses in 18 countries online.
But to build a great brand, we realised that requires funding so we raised a seed round for Eve at the end of last year. We want to make mattresses fun and cool. So we’re targeting a younger demographic. We’re seeing great results through social channels, blogs and especially word of mouth. I think for us the most exciting thing so far has been exceeding our targets by 2000% in our first 3 months.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced or are still facing? How are you planning to overcome this?
We are seeing a lot of clones appearing in the US and EU trying to sell direct to consumer mattresses under their own brands. Our approach is to not worry too much about them: keep our composure, stay focused and follow the game-plan. The biggest lesson weve learnt is to just focus and cross things off your to do list
Can you convince the reader to use your business in under 50 words?
Eve is the most comfortable mattress in the world at a third of high street prices. You get 100 days to try the mattress at home. No brainer all around.