- Able to offer same day delivery in Jakarta from March onwards
- Mattresses sold through their own website and some marketplaces in Indonesia
IN 2017, Sven Vervaert ran headfirst into the mattress-buying morass. A co-founder in a virtual reality telecom startup, Vervaert took an analytical approach, intending to dissect the process of making his purchase before ever entering a mattress store.
“I started doing research online, and that is when the challenge began for me,” Vervaert says.
When he visited mattress stores, Vervaert found that the same mattresses were often rebranded for different stores, or small tweaks were made to differentiate them. Some seemed to be identical, but one cost US$500 (RM1,946) more than the other.
In the end, Vervaert spent more than US$3,000 (RM11,6730 on a mattress.
He wrote down all the things they hated about his mattress-buying experience. Then he tore apart actual mattresses and called suppliers to gather information about manufacturing costs and processes.
What Vervaert learned was that his US$3,000 mattress cost only about US$300 (RM1,167) to manufacture, including materials and labour.
Armed with that knowledge, Vervaert left his job in June 2016 to work on his new venture full time, investing US$250,000 (RM972,775) and renting work space in Jakarta. He launched Kingaru Sleep in December 2016.
The startup sells one style of foam mattress: 25 cm thick in six sizes ranging from single to king. The mattress is priced between US$200 (RM778) and US$700 (RM2,724). Using an industrial vacuum sealer, Kingaru is able to compress the mattresses flat, reducing shipping costs and allowing them to sell through their own website and some marketplaces in Indonesia.
Initially, Vervaert says, Kingaru sold a single prototype. “We then called every customer and asked for detailed feedback,” he explains. “We had a much higher return rate then, but we hustled to continuously iterate on our mattress like it was software. Now our return rate is under 1%, our customers are super-satisfied, and they’re sharing with friends. That’s how we started to grow. We’re as viral as a mattress company can be.”
Kingaru was able to solve several challenges and will be able to offer same day delivery in Jakarta from March onwards.
Over the next year, Vervaert hopes to release new sleep-related products while also implementing a more efficient shipping method. The goal, Vervaert says, isn’t to go head-to-head with the big guys but to focus on the consumer and convenience.
“We want to build loyalty and a company customers can fall in love with. If we do that, we’ll have a shot at being globally successful.”
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