Jan 12, 2020

Casper lists inability to control social media influencers as IPO risk

Kylie (L) and Kendall Jenner at the 2019 Met Gala. Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

Mattress company Casper warned in its IPO filing Friday that social media influencers, used by the company as a marketing tool to boost brand recognition, could also pose a financial risk, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: The mattress-in-a-box brand is one of many that have taken advantage of the $8 billion influencer marketing industry through partnerships with celebrities like Kylie Jenner, who has more than 150 million Instagram followers. But those massive platforms come with risks, especially since the company can't control the non-branded content that influencers post.

  • "Influencers with whom we maintain relationships could also engage in behaviour or use their platforms to communicate directly with our customers in a manner that reflects poorly on our brand and may be attributed to us or otherwise adversely affect us," Casper noted.

The big picture: Regulators are also cracking down on the influencing industry. Both U.S. and U.K. officials are pushing influencers to more overtly identify sponsored posts and endorsements.

  • Casper said influencers could "subject us to regulatory investigations, class action lawsuits, liability, fines or other penalties."

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Casper offers shaky growth outlook in its IPO filing

Data: Casper S-1 filing via Titan; Chart: Axios Visuals

High-tech mattress company Casper made clear it plans to go public on Friday by filing an S-1 with the SEC, which was full of interesting tidbits, including its plan to harness the "Sleep Economy" with the help of its “Sleep Arc.”

What's happening: Casper has helped open up a booming industry and raked in $312 million in the first nine months of 2019. However, its S-1 filing is raising some eyebrows.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020

Casper falls below unicorn status in new IPO filing

Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Casper Sleep Inc.

Mattress maker Casper Sleep on Monday seemed to acknowledge skepticism toward its upcoming IPO by disclosing that it doesn't expect to maintain the "unicorn" valuation it received from venture capitalists.

The bottom line: Casper plans to price shares at between $17 and $19, giving it a midpoint valuation of $705 million. It last raised private funding in early 2019 at a valuation of nearly $1.1 billion.

Go deeper: Casper lists inability to control social media influencers as IPO risk

Keep ReadingArrowJan 27, 2020

Unpacking Casper's sleepy IPO

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Casper Sleep, the mattress retailer that was valued at more than $1 billion by venture capitalists, last night priced its IPO at the bottom of an already-slashed price range.

Reality check: Yes, this went just about as badly as most of us thought it would. No, it shouldn't be used as an avatar for the broader IPO or DTC markets.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Economy & Business