Wink & Nod Aims to be an End-to-End Sleep Products Company
Wink & Nod has grown in revenue by 5x in the last 1.5 years
Wink & Nod is an innovative sleep-focused online brand that crafts internationally certified sleep products that leave modern Indian consumers relaxed, refreshed and ready to dream. Wink & Nod started selling its premium memory foam mattresses and pillows in early 2018 off its website and Amazon. The mattresses are loved by consumers and the company has grown in revenue by 5x in the last 1.5 years. The company also attracted investor interest and raised an undisclosed seed round in late 2018 from Guild Capital, a US-based VC firm. Today Wink & Nod is one of the highest-rated online mattress brands in India and sells mattresses, pillows, Egyptian cotton bed sheets, bamboo towels and accessories like mattress protector and travel pillow on its website as well as on Amazon, Flipkart and Pepperfry.
Sandeep Prasad was a venture capitalist in Florida, US, before he returned to his hometown, Pune, in July 2017 and started Wink & Nod, a "sleep-focused" company that makes and sells memory foam mattresses and pillows
"We are delighted to offer our exclusive high-quality products that are pioneering a sleep revolution in the Indian market. Today's frenzied lifestyle needs a tranquil sleep and our range of products are thoughtfully crafted as well as certified to provide the same." says Sandeep Prasad, CEO and Founder of Wink & Nod.
The startup idea didn't occur to Sandeep in his sleep. Sandeep's mother helped him identify a pain point. His parents lived in Pune and they had to hunt for a good mattress for two to three weeks but ended up buying an expensive one for Rs 30,000 or so. When he asked his mother what mattress it was, she had no clue. Around this time, Sandeep was also handling investments for various consumer brands in the US, one of which was making innovative sleep products. Sleep-related products were a burgeoning market in the West, given how elusive sleep had become in the lives of millennials. It piqued Sandeep's curiosity, and he wanted to know what was happening in India.
Sandeep decided to quit his VC job, get back to India, team up with a few people from the e-commerce and logistics sector, and eventually, launch Wink & Nod in July 2017. Sandeep always wanted to start a business. For him, it was about finding the right pain point and taking the risk, as he had some experience growing e-commerce business in the US. Sandeep's team took four to five months doing the R&D before coming up with the first iteration of their product.
The company believes that it can distinguish itself through an extreme focus on product innovation, international certifications (OEKO-Tex and CertiPUR-US) and patented technologies. Brands cut corners and use low-quality foam and fabrics to sell cheaply priced mattresses. But people spend many hours on the mattress, and through the certifications, Wink & Nod ensures that the products are not harmful to health in the long run. This gives them an edge in quality and assurance, and Wink & Nod remains one of the few sleep-focused startups with quality certifications from renowned international bodies.
Technology: The company creates innovative sleep products manufactured only with materials that are certified internationally like Certi-PUR(US) and OEKO-Tek. These certifications are a standard in US mattress brands like Casper. In India, Wink & Nod raises the bar when it comes to product quality.
Unique Customer Experience: A mattress that is cool to the touch in the midst of sweltering summers has worked as a definite plus. Add to that a 100-day trial policy and free all India delivery within three to four days (in contrast, similar companies take 7 to 10 days, sometimes even two weeks, to deliver a mattress)
Quality: Wink & Nod's product return rate is about 4 percent, which is below the industry "standard" of 15 percent, says the founder. That's proof enough for highest product quality in the industry.
Cost Advantage: An average 7-inch mattress by Wink & Nod is available for about Rs 13,000, while traditional brands tend to retail at a cost upwards of Rs 30,000. Until now, memory foam mattresses in the market were available only at price points of Rs 80,000 or above. Wink & Nod has made the entry point significantly lower without compromising on product quality.
0% EMI and 10-year mattress warranty
Flexibility: Customers have the option of requesting custom size mattresses according to their preferences.
Mattress in a Box: Our mattresses are designed in a way that they can be compressed and fitted into small boxes, reducing warehousing and shipping costs for the company. It makes them much more convenient for consumers to handle as well. These are the cost advantages we're able to pass on to the customer.
“The sleep market will continue to grow rapidly and will move from offline to online over the next few years. Currently, the online mattress market is only 5% of the entire mattress market. We believe that this will be 5x by 2021. However, 2 or 3 big brands will start taking leadership in the online sleep space. I also believe that these brands will start building out physical touchpoints for customers through offline stores and presence in other big retail outlets.” adds Sandeep Prasad, CEO and Founder of Wink & Nod.
In the short term, the company plans to increase penetration in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. In the long-run, Wink & Nod aims to be an end-to-end sleep products company that offers a complete one-stop solution for sleep needs with a goal of transforming a billion bedrooms into sleep sanctuaries.
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