Wakefit: Enabling People To Sleep Better At Night

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami
Dec 17, 2020 12 min read
Wakefit: Enabling People To Sleep Better At Night

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Sound sleep can do wonders for one’s body and mind. It can help you improve immunity, increase concentration, stay in shape, and look younger. Fascinating, isn't it? However, not all are lucky enough to fall asleep in a jiffy. A worldwide survey for ranking sleep pattern revealed that Indians fell under the most sleep- deprived segment. Wakefit was established to tackle this issue and eliminate the menace of sleep deprivation once and for all.

Wakefit is a Bengaluru-based startup which operates with an overall objective of bringing sleep into Indians’ consciousness and helps them take steps to improve their sleep health through effective products. Wakefit's valuation touched INR 1,900 crore after its recent Series B round of funding of INR 185 crore led by Sequoia Capital India and Verlinvest.

Keep on reading to find out more about Wakefit's origin, competitors, funding, revenue, and challenges.

Wakefit - Company Highlights

Startup Name Wakefit
Headquarter Bengaluru
Sector Sleep Wellness
Co-founders Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda
Founded 2016
Valuation INR 1,900 crore (December 2020)
Total Funding INR 250 crore (as of December 2020 )
Revenue / Turnover INR 199 crore (FY20)
Parent Organization Wakefit Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Website Wakefit.co

About Wakefit and How it Works
Mattress Industry in India
Founders of Wakefit and Team
How Wakefit Began
Wakefit - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Wakefit - Business Model and Revenue Model
Wakefit - User Acquisition
Wakefit - Startup Challenges
Wakefit - Revenue
Wakefit - Funding and Investors
Wakefit - Awards and Achievements
Wakefit - Acquisitions
Wakefit - Competitors
Wakefit - Future Plans
Wakefit - FAQs

About Wakefit and How it Works

Wakefit was launched in March 2016 as a sleep solutions startup with an aim to revolutionize the quality of sleep among Indians. The Wakefit team believes that quality sleep is a basic need and not a luxury; this mantra motivates the team to focus on innovation in product development, efficiency in processes and cost optimization, and excellence in customer experience. This makes Wakefit’s superior quality products 40%-50% cheaper than those sold by established brands.

Wakefit Advertisement

Wakefit currently has two variants of its core product: an 'Orthopedic Memory Foam Mattress' and a 'Dual Comfort Mattress'. Unlike other companies which constantly release a new product variant so as to reach wider audiences, Wakefit has committed to these two variants. Talking about the same, co-founder Chaitanya Ramalingegowda says this choice has been made 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, Wakefit maintains only one design. To complete the sleep portfolio, the firm will launch a maternity pillow, a nursing pillow, a pet bed, and a baby bed by the end of 2020.

In its current capacity, Wakefit is able to produce around 500 mattresses a day and ships 7500-9000 mattresses in a month. The machinery is imported from Europe and the Middle East so as to ensure world-class quality in terms of consistency and chemicals used. Manufacturing is done in Bengaluru, and quality checks take place in Europe. Wakefit is certified under Certi-PUR process (for foam). The chemicals used are certified by Greenguard, an environmental institute that aims to reduce human exposure to pollutants. Wakefit invests its profits into German manufacturing equipment which in turn guarantee high efficiency and low costs.

Wakefit.co, the website hosted by Wakefit, conducted a survey and it was found that in India, 48 percent people complained of back problems, and 80 percent people reported feeling sleepy at work one-three days a week. To solve the increasing number of sleep-related problems, Wakefit included many innovative features while designing its products. Wakefit claims that its mattresses are made of proprietary "open-cell structures" for cool summers, and that its high-density foam gives complementary support. Body contour is another factor the company has focused on. Wakefit claims that its mattresses’ memory foam provides pressure relief.

Since immigrant millennials in metro cities may prefer renting, Wakefit has tied up with online furniture and home appliances rental platform Rentomojo to provide mattresses along with the latter's beds. Wakefit is also in talks with more players in the B2B space.

The company now delivers products all over India. Wakefit sells products online through its website and e-retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Pepperfry. It currently ships about 300 mattresses a day but the numbers do go up to 800 during sale period. 75 percent of its sales are from the top eight metros and the rest from tier-2 and tier-3 towns.

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Mattress Industry in India

With an estimated size of INR 10,000 crore, the Indian mattress market is expected to grow to INR 14,000 crore by 2021, according to market reports. While a few brands have been operating in the space, it is largely dominated by unorganized players. The overall market has seen very little innovation in the past few decades. With the entry of new-age players, the mattress market is seeing a revolution, with products designed and customized to suit customer needs and comfort.

As per internal estimates, Wakefit.co owns 2-3% of the overall mattress market but with respect to the online sleep solutions space, it commands a market share of almost 35-40%. As sleep health becomes a pertinent topic among wellness and health circles and as people start understanding the role of sleep in one’s life, the market is pegged to grow at a rapid pace and the team at Wakefit are confident of making India sleep better, every day.

Founders of Wakefit and Team

Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda are the founders of Wakefit.

Wakefit Owners
Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda - Founders, Wakefit

Ankit Garg is the Director & Founder at Wakefit. He is a chemical engineer from IIT-Roorkee. He was featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 Young Entrepreneurs list of 2019. He worked as a management trainee at Bayer Material Science for 4 years before setting up Wakefit.

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda is the co-founder of Wakefit. He has done an MBA from ISB and has been working closely with startups since 2012.

The growth that Wakefit has achieved can be attributed to the vision held by the two founders and a committed team of more than 250 employees who work tirelessly to ensure that people don't compromise with their sleep.

Taking care of everything ourselves was hard, as was finding the right people at the right time. We found the team through referrals and LinkedIn.

How Wakefit Began

The motivation to start-up was born out of Ankit Garg’s personal experience of buying a mattress. He comes from a strong ‘foaming’ background, having worked with a German multinational in the space. This gave him a detailed understanding of the raw materials that went into a mattress and the cost at which these materials were bought and sold. When he experienced the journey of buying a mattress through the traditional business model, he realized that there was no innovation in the product that was being sold; it was highly overpriced and the sales representatives of retail stores had no knowledge of the science of sleep. This sparked the drive to change the way Indians accessed sleep products in the country.

One day over a cup of coffee, Ankit and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda decided the time was ripe to revolutionize sleep and make good-quality sleep products accessible to larger masses in the country by bringing in efficiencies in the business model. The growing popularity of D2C brands fuelled the idea to start an online model where products were manufactured at a centrally located plant and shipped directly to customer households.

Before launching Wakefit officially, Ankit bought a few hundred mattresses and sold them on Amazon in 2015 to understand the unit economics. He made a profit of INR 60 lakh in this trial period.

Wakefit initially experimented with four types of mattress, including spring, latex, foam, and memory foam. Currently based on customer preferences, the company is manufacturing only two types of mattresses: 'orthopedic memory foam mattress' and 'dual comfort mattress'.

Wakefit Memory Foam Mattress - Relieve Body Pain

Wakefit works with the vision to improve the sleep health of individuals. Its scientifically-designed mattress makes the users feel well-rested and allows them to wake up feeling active and fit; hence, the name 'Wakefit'.

Wakefit Logo
Wakefit Logo

Wakefit - Business Model and Revenue Model

Wakefit follows a D2C business model so as to rationalize costs. The company operates in the e-commerce space and all the products are listed on its website as well as on Amazon, Flipkart and PepperFry. Wakefit delivers to more than 19,000 pin codes in India through these channels. With 3x growth in revenue since inception, Wakefit has also maintained profitability since 2016.

The flagship product, Orthopedic Memory Foam Mattress, starts at INR 8000 and above and the Dual Comfort Mattress starts at INR 6000 and above. The product portfolio includes Orthopedic Memory Foam mattress, Dual Comfort mattress, pillows, bed frame, comforter, mattress protector, neck pillow, bedsheets, and back cushion.

"We want to democratize sleep and for that it is important to ensure affordability. To reduce manual labor and increase efficiency, we are using vertical cutting and compression machines. Our customer acquisition cost is Rs 800-900, and our average ticket size is Rs 11,000, so there is no cash burn,” says Ankit

Since no middlemen are involved, Wakefit is able to provide prices that are 50 percent lesser than its competitors. The products are priced between INR 5,000 and INR 26,000.

Wakefit - Revenue

Wakefit's revenue grew to around INR 199 crore in FY20 from around INR 80 crore in FY19, as per its financial statements.

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Wakefit - User Acquisition

Ankit and Chaitanya undertook the deliveries themselves for the first 100 customers to closely understand and learn in terms of customer behavior, attitudes, and pain points.

“Internet adopters were our first users. We visited homes for our first 100 deliveries, and did video interviews for feedback."

Ankit shares that those experiences taught them how to improve their product in terms of longevity, aesthetics, packaging, thickness (soft/medium/hard), and helped them understand customer pain points better. The direct feedback received from the customers aided a lot in the development of the core offerings that Wakefit provides today.

Experts opine that the comfort and adaptability to a mattress can only be judged by an individual once he or she sleeps on it and experiences it for at least 14 days. A cursory visit to the store cannot give an indication of the quality. That is why Wakefit provides a 100 day free trial with 100% return policy. This policy also helped build confidence among customers in the online mode of purchase. The insights enabled Wakefit to model its organizational structure such that the customer pain points are adequately addressed right from the product development stage till the post-sale customer experience stage.

Wakefit.co has built a community of over 4 lakh customers and has garnered more than 12,000 positive reviews online that have propelled the business forward. The company never spent heavily on advertisement. Word-of-mouth marketing has been the most potent tool that has helped the Wakefit team build the business in a steady and sustainable manner. The firm also does a lot of online content marketing on the importance of sound sleep and health.

Wakefit - Startup Challenges

The major challenge in the mattress industry is the lack of awareness among the general public about choosing the right kind of mattresses and prioritizing sleep wellness. Wakefit is committed to bridging this gap by sharing trustworthy, first-hand information about choosing the right kind of mattress as well as building knowledge around the science of sleep.

Another challenge is making the most of the consumers’ need to touch and feel the mattress. The Wakefit team believes that the right kind of mattress cannot be chosen merely by means of ‘touch-and-feel’. So the company offers a 100 day free trial policy which allows customers to test the mattress for themselves in the privacy of their homes and gauge whether it is the right choice for them.

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Wakefit - Funding and Investors

Wakefit has raised a total of INR 250 crore till date. Its latest funding was on December 16, 2020 which was led by Verlinvest (European Investment Firm) and Sequoia Capital India for INR 185 crore.

The Funding details are as follows:

Date Amount Series Investors
December 2018 INR 65 Crore Series A Sequoia Capital
December 2020 INR 185 Crore Series B Verlinvest, Sequoia Capital
  • Wakefit had raised INR 65 crore in the first round (Series A) of funding in December 2018 by Sequoia Capital for a 31%stake. The funding has enabled the company to experiment with product innovation and build up the R&D capability by buying automated machinery. Wakefit bought three machines for temperature and pressure mapping and for stress testing to understand how foam reacts to different body postures. Wakefit is currently selling the 15th version of its products.
  • Wakefit is now valued at INR 1,900 crore, a significant jump from INR 210 crore in December 2018 when the startup raised INR 65 crore from Sequoia Capital.
  • Wakefit also instituted employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback worth INR 15 crore for the benefit of early employees.

Wakefit - Awards and Achievements

  • Won Startup of the Year at Small Business Awards 2019, conducted in collaboration with Economic Times & Entrepreneur magazine.
  • Won the Business Today Coolest startup 2018 award.
  • Won ‘Startup of the Year - Home and Lifestyle’ at India Retail and eRetail Congress 2019.
  • Won Amazon Aces Gold as Bestsellers in 2019.
  • Won Best Customer Service Award in 2019 at an Award ceremony organized by Entrepreneur India Magazine.
  • Nominated for SABRE awards for its innovative ‘One India One Wakefit’ campaign

Wakefit - Acquisitions

Although mergers and acquisitions are common in the e-commerce segment, Wakefit wants to continue as an independent entity and not be acquired.

Wakefit - Competitors

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, unorganized players, and biggies such as Kurl-On and Sleepwell, Wakefit continues to grow. It closed FY 2018-19 with revenues of INR 81 crore, a whopping 200 per cent jump from the previous FY. The company is targeting INR 200 crore by FY2020.

Wakefit - Future Plans

  • It targets revenue of INR 1,000 crore by FY23.
  • Wakefit's factory area has, over the years, gone from 3,000 sq.ft to 5,000, 30,000, and now 70,000 sq.ft.
  • The startup currently has four warehouses, one each in Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. It planned to set up six more by the end of 2019.

Wakefit - FAQs

What is Wakefit?

It is a sleep solutions startup that offers comfortable mattresses and other related products such as pillows and comforters.

How much is Wakefit Valuation ?

Wakefit is valued at INR 1,900 crore (December 2020) after its recent funding of INR 185 crore led by Sequoia Capital India and Verlinvest.

Who are the founders of Wakefit?

Wakefit was founded by Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda.

How much is Wakefit's Revenue?

Wakefit's revenue grew to around INR 199 crore in FY20 from around INR 80 crore in FY19, as per its financial statements.

Who are the Top competitors of Wakefit?

Cuddl, Sunday Mattress, SleepyCat, and Wink&Nod have entered the fray in last few years. Kurl-On and Sleepwell are also rivals to Wakefit.

Is Memory Foam bad for your back?

Memory foam mattresses are recommended for back pain. The memory foam uses body heat to soften and moulds to the body shape, thus providing support and comfort.

How big is the Mattress Industry?

As per a research report published by the Zion Market Research, the Global Mattress industry is growing at a CAGR of 6.5% between 2018 and 2024. India’s overall mattress market has grown at a CAGR of 11% over last five years, with an estimated size of INR 10,000 crore in 2019.

Where is Wakefit’s Manufacturing Unit?

Wakefit has a manufacturing unit located in Bangalore, India.

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