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Online mattress retailer Casper raises $170 million

Casper, a New York-based direct-to-consumer bedding products retailer, has raised $170 million in Series C funding. Target Corp. led the round, after reportedly having been in earlier talks to acquire Casper outright. Other investors include Tresalia Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, NEA, Irving Capital and individual angels like 50 Cent, Kevin Spacey, Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala.

Why it matters: Because it's the latest example of the rapidly converging e-commerce and physical retail worlds, following last Friday's Amazon/Whole Foods and Walmart/Bonobos deals. For Casper, it's about gaining consumer visibility. For Target, it's about better understanding direct-to-consumer selling via digital.

Remember: Casper may sell via online channels, but it's still much more of a retail company than a tech company.

Top-line: Casper reports more than $200 million in revenue for 2016, compared to around $100 million for 2015.

Bottom line: "The reality that we face is that a vast majority of people don't know that we exist." ― Casper CEO Philip Krim to the NY Times.

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