At a time when most companies launch a range of variants of their products to reach out to all sort of customers, Bangalore-based Wakefit Innovations decided to stick to only two variants of their core product - an Orthopaedic Memory Foam Mattress and a Dual Comfort Mattress. It is one of the long series of counterintuitive decisions the company has made. The reason, its co-founder Chaitanya Ramalingegowda says, is to avoid decision fatigue. "With the plethora of decisions a person has to make in a single day, we want to simplify consumer's life by helping them make at least one less decision."
In line with this philosophy, as the firm transitioned from a mattress firm to a sleep solutions company, it launched one bed frame, one set of pillow, a back pillow and one mattress protector. Although mattresses and their protectors come in different sizes, they have only one design.
To complete the sleep portfolio, the firm, by the end of this year, will launch a maternity pillow, a nursing pillow, a pet bed and a baby bed.
The four-year old start-up raised Rs 65 crore in the first round of funding in December 2018 by Sequoia Capital for a 31 per cent stake. The funding was to enable the two co-founders to experiment with product innovation and build up the R&D capability by buying automated machinery. They bought three machines for temperature and pressure mapping and for stress testing to understand how foam reacts to different body postures. Currently, they are selling the 15th version of their products.
With a focus on product innovation, the firm doesn't seem to be in a hurry for more customers to know them. They didn't use the funding to open an offline store or for extravagant marketing spends.
The start-up has a small team of 10 sales people. But, an after sales team seven times the size of its sales executives. "We don't spend heavily on advertising. We want to build business from word of mouth so it is important the customer is happy," says Ramalingegowda in his usual composed self. The firm also does a lot of online content marketing on the importance of sound sleep and health.
While others focus on increasing prices for profit margins, WakeFit has dropped it four times; the last was in June 2019. "We want to democratise sleep and for that it is important to ensure affordability," says cofounder Ankit Garg.
Wakefit only sells products online through its own website and e-tailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Pepperfry. It currently ships about 300 mattresses a day but it goes up to 800 during sale period. 75 per cent of its sales are from top eight metros and the rest from tier-2 and tier-3 towns.
Several other start-ups such as Cuddl, Sunday Mattress, SleepyCat and Wink&Nod have entered the fray in last few years. In spite of the competition from start-ups, unorganised players and biggies such as Kurl-On and Sleepwell, the firm has been growing. It closed FY2018-19 with revenues of Rs 81 crore, a whopping 200 per cent jump from last year. They are targetting Rs 200 crore by FY2020.
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