Casper’s IPO is officially a disaster

Casper’s attempt at a public debut is becoming downright embarrassing.  The mattress-in-a-box company dramatically slashed its initial public offering price, cutting its valuation and dimming hopes of a positive reception by investors…

The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it has cut its IPO target share price to $12 to $13 from $17 to $19. That values the company at around $500 million, down from the $705 million it valued itself at last week. At one point, Casper was valued at more than $1 billion.
The New York-based startup filed to go public earlier in January. It plans to trade under the ticker symbol “CSPR” on the New York Stock Exchange.
Casper’s long-term prospects for profitability are questionable at best. Casper reported its preliminary 2019 financial results last week, and although sales soared 23% to about $439 million, it lost about $94 million in the past year. Its loss was about 2% more than its losses during 2018.
Casper blamed the losses on expenses and marketing to bolster its growth in retail stores. It also said it was spending a lot of money on developing new products to move beyond the saturated mattress-in-a-box market. Sales and marketing expenses continue to be a heavy burden on Casper. It spent roughly $155 million in 2018 — an increase of 23% compared to the year prior.
The company got its start in April 2014 after raising almost $2 million from venture capital firms and angel investors. Casper captured consumers’ attention first with its mattress that fit into a cardboard box the size of a mini fridge and has since expanded to a portfolio of products including dog beds. It attracted several high-profile investors including rapper Nas and actor Ashton Kutcher.
But the market has grown increasingly…
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