Will it be a dream come true or another nightmare on Wall Street?
Casper Sleep Inc., the hip mattress startup that turned everyday shut-eye into a cult lifestyle, filed for its initial public offering of shares on Friday. The five-year-old company has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CSPR.
In a detailed prospectus posted to the Securities and Exchange Commission website, Casper made it clear that it aims to capture a sizable chuck of the “sleep economy,” a market it valued at $79 billion in the United States and $432 billion globally.
“Sleep has entered the global wellness equation,” explains an infographic bathed in muted colors, reminiscent of Casper’s famously quirky subway ads.
It wasn’t the only familiar thing about the prospectus. Casper’s earnings sheet—showing enormous and escalating losses over the past three years—reeks of the kinds of IPOs that often fizzle out quickly after beginning with a buzz. The company says it lost $73.4 million in 2017 on revenue of $251 million. The following year, those losses mushroomed to $92.1 million on revenue of $358 million. In unaudited figures, Casper says it lost $67 million in the first nine months of 2019.
Here are the key numbers from 2018:
- Revenue: $358 million
- Costs of goods sold: $200 million
- Sales and marketing expenses: $126 million
- Total operating expenses: $250 million
- Net loss: $92.1 million
Casper’s IPO dreams follow a problematic year for money-losing startups that made the jump to public markets. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and SmileDirectClub have failed to impress after making their public debuts last year. Meanwhile, the specter of WeWork—which imploded under the weight of its own hype and hubris before it ultimately abandoned its IPO—will continue to loom heavily in 2020 and beyond.
The last thing investors need right now is another risky bet that will cost them more money. Or more sleep for that matter.
Check out the full Casper prospectus here.