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Casper ends first trading day up nearly 13%, jumping over lowered bar of expectations

·Editor focused on markets and the economy
·2 min read
In this article:
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Casper Sleep opened for trading on Thursday at $14.50 per share, a day after the mattress startup priced its initial public offering at $12 per share — the low end of its expected range.

The company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CSPR,” finished the trading day at $13.50 after rising as high at $15.85.

The pricing of over 8 million shares comes after Casper unexpectedly cut the range for the offering to $12-13 per share — becoming the latest startup to have its big ambitions dashed by the stark realities of an unforgiving market.

Although it started trading at a 21% premium from its IPO, the rock-bottom pricing suggests Casper is falling prey to the same lowered expectations that eventually humbled 2019’s class of marquee IPOs.

Casper once occupied the same strata as other “unicorns,” or startups valued above $1 billion, but is now closer to $600 million. The IPO’s reception is an effective temperature read for other Silicon Valley hopefuls like Airbnb that may also go public this year.

According to its regulatory filing, Casper is hoping to raise just under $125 million with its IPO, and hopes to capitalize on the growing emphasis on health and wellness — estimating the “global sleep economy” is worth about $432 billion. Last year, the company raised over $300 million from a list of big name investors, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio, rapper 50 Cent and retail giant Target (TGT).

However, investors have laid siege to a wide range of companies with lofty visions and valuations — but no actual profits. Casper reported $312.3 million in revenue in the first nine months of last year, but lost over $67 million as it expanded its retail footprint, and spent lavishly on marketing to fend off challenges from competitors like Sleep Number (SNBR).

The long and growing list of newly-minted public companies that have tumbled sharply since their debuts include Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT) , Peloton (PTON) and Slack (WORK). All of those stocks crashed in their market debuts, and continued to slide afterward.

Meanwhile, the debacle of WeWork’s aborted IPO is still fresh in the minds of chastened investors.

Javier David is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow Javier on Twitter: @TeflonGeek

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