A major chunk of time spent at home is on our mattress, sleeping. Despite that, very few spend time or money to get themselves the perfect mattress. This realisation dawned on Alphonse Reddy when he quit a lucrative job at a PE firm based in Dubai and headed back to India to start afresh as an entrepreneur.
He picked India’s start-up capital Bengaluru, found a house to rent and bought himself a top-of-the-line branded mattress. Six months down the line, Reddy had bought and sold three branded mattresses as none of the mattresses gave him a good night’s sleep.
That’s when he founded FabMart.com, an online marketplace that sells premium sleep products such as mattresses, pillows, recliners, mattress toppers and bed sheets, which garnered ₹5 crore in sales last fiscal.
Simultaneously, he started researching what goes into making the perfect mattress.
After 12 months of deep research, Reddy figured out the formula for the perfect mattress and founded Sunday, India’s first online sleep start-up in September 2015.
Stating that the mattress buying experience is a very confusing affair where customers are at a complete loss as to which of the 20-50 mattress variants including coir, foam, latex, spring, they should buy, Reddy said: “Sunday makes the buying experience simple and easy with just two mattress variants and one pillow variant at transparent price points. More important, our mattresses conform to international health and safety standards with certifications from Euro Latex, Oeko Tex and LGA.”
Reddy and his team developed 27 prototypes of mattresses. The two mattress variants — Ortho plus priced at ₹18,000 and Latex Plus priced at ₹33,500 — and pillows made up of synthetic fibre is priced at ₹2,000.
The mattresses are designed by acclaimed Japanese designer, Hiroko Shiratori, are made up of foam sourced from Belgium, the mattress fabric is sourced and stitched into a covers in Coimbatore and finally assembled in Hosur. Sunday has been notching sales of 500 mattresses a month in Bengaluru through its website www.sundayrest.com.
Interestingly, 50 per cent of the demand comes from Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai, which the start-up cannot fulfil at present.
“We are in talks with investors to raise $2-4 million in funding, to expand our presence” said Reddy. Sunday’s business model is similar to the US-based sleep start-up Casper.com.
Customers get a free trial period of 100 days during which they can return the mattress for a full refund.
The $3-billion branded mattress market in India is growing at close to 10 per cent year-on-year and is estimated to grow at a much higher 20 per cent over the next few years, as a whole new customer segment of millenials get ready to set up their homes.