Online mattress pioneer Casper soars in debut trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of online mattress pioneer Casper Sleep Inc popped on Thursday in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

But the New York-based company still faces challenges to prove to investors it can profitably sell mattresses.

Its shares closed at USD13.50, up nearly 13 per cent above the USD12 initial public offering (IPO) price. The stock opened at USD14.50 and traded as high as USD15.85.

The strong debut is encouraging news after several recent IPO flops and Casper had to sharply cut the price of its IPO. Last month, Casper said it expected to price the IPO between USD17 and USD19 per share, a range it later lowered to USD12 to USD13 a share.

Co-founder and CEO of Casper Philip Krim told The Associated Press he was happy with the debut but said he continues “to be very focussed on a long-term vision”. He declined to comment on when the company would become profitable but said that he’s focussed on driving market share and growth while controlling expenses.

Casper became the first well-known name to reveal plans to go public this year, serving as a test for investors’ appetite for unprofitable startups heading for the public markets. Since last year, investors have grown more wary of startups that don’t make money. Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft debuted on the market last year but have continued to lose money, and both have traded well below their IPO prices.