The mattress startup battle's heating up in the UK as Simba gets in bed with top City investors


Sweet dreams for Simba Sleep thanks to City investors (Source: Simba Sleep)

The battle to bring you the best night's sleep is heating up as one of several mattress startups spearheading innovation, in an industry apparently ripe for disruption, has landed new funding.

Simba Sleep has tempted several top City investors into bed in a fresh £9m funding round, bringing total investment in the one-year-old startup to £17.5m.

Henderson Global Investors, Numis Securities, Citi's head of investment banking Michel de Carvalho and Richard Goldstein, whose family founded Superdrug, join a star line up of backers. Also plunging cash into the venture is former hedge fund boss Julian Barnett, Oblix Capital's Rishi Passi and and Nigel Wray, the chairman of Saracens rugby club and a City heavyweight.

Read more: Why everything you think you know about mattresses is wrong

Wray, an existing investor, said he'd "never really given a thought to the subject" until he encountered Simba. 

"But we are all going to spend, touch wood, 30 years on a mattress so maybe we’ve got to change our mind a bit," he added.

"I also love the mattress in a box concept, as someone who can’t even lift a king size mattress let alone move it or deliver it.”

The new cash will fund ambitious plans to hit the equivalent of a new market every two weeks over the next 18 months as it targets sales of £40m this year. It currently serves the UK and Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, North America and the Middle East.

Announcing the fresh funding, Simba said it has sold 45,000 mattresses over the past year and is growing 30 per cent month-on-month in the UK and at a rate of 50 per cent across Europe.

Read more: A Leonardo DiCaprio-backed startup is bringing mattress innovation to the UK

Simba's 29-year-old founder James Cox said: "We’ve always wanted to innovate rather than replicate. We strove for customer satisfaction but to achieve this and stand out from the crowd, required us to really prioritise innovation.

"Our expansion may seem fast, but we’re doing things in a very measured way. The retail deals in Europe are replicating the successful model we executed with John Lewis in the UK.”

Simba's competition includes US startup Caspar, which made its way to the UK last year, and homegrown Eve.

Tags: Startups