This bootstrapped mattress startup by ex-Paytm exec is cracking the sleep game
They say, sitting is the new smoking. Our corporate jobs are not 9 to 5 anymore, and sitting in odd and awkward positions for long hours has only given rise to more health problems, including back pain. This was something Tarun Chugh faced too.
“I ended up spending close to Rs 50,000 on the mattresses and cushions, but it didn’t help. I then started my research and found that many things lead to back pain. We started doing research in the beginning of 2017, and by mid-2017, we saw an opportunity in the space,” says Tarun.
The same year, Tarun started Shinysleep, a mattress company, along with his wife Neha Chugh. The startup makes use of memory foam, a product developed by NASA, which could be used in various ways to enhance a mattress’ comfort level.
“I initiated the operational work, and the first trial was a great success with family and friends,” says Tarun. The husband-wife duo set up the manufacturing unit in Delhi-NCR. The overall time taken to set up the proceeding, including the R&D and the manufacturing, was one year,” says Tarun.
While most of the sourcing is done in-house, the rest is procured and customised for consumers.
The early days
Tarun says, during their initial research, they found out that most shopkeepers and mattress dealers would ask their customers only one question – what is your budget? But Tarun says, this was a wrong approach, and the ideal way was to first understand the customer’s need and not the budget.
“I started buying mattresses from different brands and checking it by myself along with my family and friends, and started analysing the data points. Spending time at mattress shops in the weekends also helped me know more about the market,” says Tarun.
The team first sourced the memory foam, and setting up the manufacturing unit was not very difficult, says Tarun. Prior to starting Shinysleep, Tarun was the co-founder of LetsCycle, and also worked with Cognizant, Wipro, and Paytm. Neha, on the other hand, is a MTech graduate.
“After three months of testing the product with the help of family and friends, we started selling it online,” says Tarun. Today, Shinysleep has a team of 30 people.
The production and numbers
Apart from mattresses, Shinysleep offers other products such as mattress protectors, fibre pillows, and memory foam pillows at present.
The average production cost of a mattress is around Rs 12,000, and Shinysleep products are sold to the customers in the range of Rs 6,000 to Rs 13,000.
Speaking about their business model, Tarun says, “The margins in a similar business model are quite nominal in the online space as we are a company working on a direct-to-consumer model. For offline sales, we work on a direct-to-dealer model.”
Currently bootstrapped, the team claims to have made revenues of around Rs 12.5 lakh when they started operations, and the startup is now looking to clock revenues to the tune of Rs 40 lakh by 2020. The team is also expecting to see a 20 percent annual growth.
Shiny Sleep claims to have sold around 70 mattresses in the first quarter of 2017, and also claims to have sold over 1,000 products per month - both online and offline.
The market and future
India’s mattress market is estimated to be worth around Rs 10,000 crore. Currently, Shiny Sleep competes with The Sleep Company and Sequoia-backed Wakefit. Startups like Cuddl, SleepyCat, Wink&Nod, and Sunday Mattress are all taking sleep seriously, and are using advanced tech and raw materials to build their products. Horizontal marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and ShopClues are also offering branded and unbranded mattresses.
According to the team, Shiny Sleep is currently focused on customer requirements and needs. Speaking of their future plans, Tarun says,
“We want to educate the customers, and launch new product ranges in mattresses, pillows, comforters, etc. The end goal is to keep giving customer satisfaction and let them enjoy the privilege of quality sleep products in India and abroad.”
(Edited by Megha Reddy)