Leesa is one of a handful of the most successful upstart mattress players that have been upending the $15bn industry and snatching market share away from mattress giants Tempur Sealy International and Serta Simmons Bedding. The others include Casper, which has gained the biggest buzz and most funding, including from Target, and Purple, which recently agreed to a $1.1bn merger with a publicly traded investment shell company.
Both Leesa and West Elm have a social component to their businesses. Leesa is a B Corp that donates one mattress for every 10 that it sells — it’s given away nearly 20,000 of them — and works with 30 homeless shelters. West Elm, a division of publicly-traded Williams-Sonoma, emphasizes handcrafted, sustainable and fair-trade products, and has committed to increasing its fair-trade offerings from 20 percent in 2017 to 40 percent in 2019. “We think and we work the same way,” Leesa CEO David Wolfe said. “I’ve had them in my sights for a long time.”
Wolfe, a veteran of direct-to-consumer marketing, and Jamie Diamonstein, a third-generation mattress executive, founded Virginia Beach-based Leesa in 2014. It is unusual among mattress makers for having a social component. “We are a company with soul and purpose,” said John Replogle, the CEO of Seventh Generation, the environmentally friendly personal-care and cleaning products company, who became Leesa’s chairman after leading a $23m investment in the company in July.
With the new funds, Leesa, which is profitable and has raised relatively little venture capital money, has big ambitions — to hit $1bn in sales within five years. “That’s the challenge he presented me with,” Wolfe said. “We just hit it off, and he said, ‘If I’m going to get involved, I want to be $1bn in sales in five years.”
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