Feature

A good night’s sleep has turned out to be a dream opportunity for some start-ups

Wakefit, SleepyCat and Wink & Nod are making affordable, new-age mattresses and delivering them in a box 

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Sleeping Beauty wasn’t called that for nothing. Sleep, say scientists and ‘natural philosophers’, is great for the skin and soul. Therefore, even with her gummy eyes and drool from taking the longest nap ever, Princess Aurora (Disney’s Sleeping Beauty) captivated Prince Charming. Indians aren’t gifted that way, in sleeping well and for long. A study by Fitbit, after going through 10.5 billion data points across 18 countries, declared that we are the second-most sleep deprived nation in the world.

Indian start-up Wakefit (after asking 92,000 respondents) found that about 20% suffer from insomnia, and nearly 80-85% wake up about one to three times every night. Instead of tossing and turning over it, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda and Ankit Garg decided to cash in. In India, the $1.7 billion mattress industry is served by two extremes — neighbourhood shops with lumpy foam or big brands such as Kurl-on, Sleepwell and Duroflex. Founded in 2016, Wakefit realised there is a market in between. Other start-ups soon came in, including SleepyCat, Wake & Nod, Flo and Sunday. How do they plan to shake up this dozy market?

Good night’s sleep
For one, they have funky marketing videos. What is not to like about talking cows and sleepy cats? Along with that, they offer convenience, affordability and quality with a magic ingredient — memory foam. This mattress material was developed by the most powerful space agency in the world, NASA. It was invented for the comfort of astronauts, more than five decades ago. Then, it found its way into the mattress industry.

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