Helix Sleep raises $7.4 million to sell made-to-order mattresses online

A New York City startup called Helix Sleep Inc. raised $7.35 million in Series A funding to grow its bespoke mattress business, according to cofounder Adam Tishman.

With 20 full-time employees today, the company sells directly to consumers online, and via its office and showroom in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

Helix’s mission is to “deliver unprecedented comfort to people at affordable prices in the sleep category through personalization,” Tishman said.

It assesses its customers’ body type and sleeping preferences with an online or in-person questionnaire.

It then processes customers’ info using a proprietary algorithm that maps and recommends a custom construction for their mattress. Helix based its algorithm on research in biomechanics and sleep ergonomics, the cofounder noted. The mattresses are designed to ensure spinal alignment when a person is sleeping.

Materials in Helix Sleep mattresses are a mix of latex, high-grade foam and packed micro-coils that are not the type seen in a traditional, inner spring mattress.

They are pressed in a machine called a roll packer, which flattens Helix mattresses about an inch in thickness, then rolls them up and ships them to a customer’s doorstep in a box about the size of a bag of golf clubs.

The traditional bedding and mattress industry has drawn venture investments in recent years, with startups including Casper, Leesa, Boll & Branch, Parachute Home and Brooklinen among those funded.

Upstarts in the industry are tapping into a huge market, as evidenced by revenue in the multiple billions annually for incumbents mattress makers like TempurSealy or Serta-Simmons and retailers like Mattress Firm.

Investors in Helix’s Series A round included: Double J Capital, Simon Venture Group, WTI (Western Technology Investments), Great Oaks VC and individual angels including Getty Images co-founder Jonathan Klein and Marquis Jet co-founder Jess Itzler.

Double J Capital’s Jordan Hitch, now a board member at Helix, said he expects the company to use its Series A funding for hiring, to ramp up manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Asked if Helix has any technology-based advantages over its competitors, Hitch said:

“They do have a proprietary algorithm to develop their mattresses. But the important part will be maintaining high levels of customer service as they grow. Barriers to entry are low in this industry. The hardest part is to be consistent.”

Helix Sleep cofounders: Jerry Lin, Adam Tishman and Kristian von Rickenbach.

Helix Sleep cofounders: Jerry Lin, Adam Tishman and Kristian von Rickenbach.

The startup’s mattresses cost about $600 to $1,200, depending on what size bed and features a customer orders.

The mattresses have been popular among couples who have different preferences and body types.

If you’re 6 foot 2, tend to run hot and sleep on your back, but your partner is 5 feet one, and a side sleeper who runs cold, chances are you don’t want the same things in a bed, Tishman said.

Helix offers a ‘dual comfort’ mattress with each side matched to the sleeper’s preference. And it offers a blended mattress that has a uniform feel across, but strikes a happy medium between the preferences of two sleepers.