How We Took a Startup From£0 in Revenue to £33 Million in Revenue in 18 Months

Two Guys, a Bunch of Mattresses, and a Vision to Create a New Market.

When Simba Sleep was started up, there were only two founders – James Cox and Steve Reid. Both had invested a million pounds into starting the company, and they had a vision of delivering affordable, high quality mattresses to the people of the UK. It was an ambitious project.

Yet, they had a vision, they had the energy, they just needed an implementation plan, and someone to take their vision and make it launch. So they approached us – Cubatica.

We knew this would be a challenge. At the time, mattresses were still relatively new to the eCommerce scene.

As a stand-alone product, mattresses were more expensive than the average online store order, and customers wouldn’t be able to ‘test’ the mattress beforehand.

Since it was all being funded out of their own pocket at this point, they needed every cent to count towards building their empire.

However, Steve and James were both very inspired and willing to take big risks to make their vision come to life. So we said “Hell yes” and jumped in.

The First Step Of The Strategy

Getting a clear view of what resources we had to work with, and making choices that were high impact.

The first step was to take full analysis of their scenario, including how much seed money they had (Which was all from their own pocket at this point), and what their goals were (which was to show proof of concept and attract investors by selling 100 mattresses per month).

From there, we set a KPI of Scale working on a 150% ROI, with the aim of going for 250% around 6 – 8 months later.

Once we were clear on the resources we had available and what our goals where, we immediately helped them upskill a marketing employee by teaching them the intricacies of replying to facebook messages, looking at potential guerilla tactics to use in London and also sourcing and closing partnerships.

Our team was led by Josh Bretag

Our secret performance marketing weapon, and Startup infusion specialist. Also he makes a mean steak. This was important because it helped to get the business off the ground and to a running start. This also let SIMBA close their first round of funding at a higher multiple than originally anticipated.

Hell yes! First round of funding! Let’s keep the momentum going!

Next, we brainstormed the approach we would take with the marketing.

We had performed a deep dive research of their market, their competitors, and their target customers, so we could learn from what others had already done, and reach their hottest leads.

We determined Facebook was the channel we would focus on as at the time it had cheap CPC’s and already had success with Casper(a competing mattress company) in the USA.

The Cubatica media buying team ran their media buying campaign, and our strategic department put together the strategy.

We set-up a naming convention to easily keep track of the ads, tests, optimized the ads daily, removed poor performing ads, created custom audiences based around the strategies we’d create.

Mr.T says “I pity the fool who doesn’t use naming conventions.”

The First Big Roadblock

People were super reluctant to buy mattresses online without trying the first…

After running our first couple months of tests, we discovered a lot of people were uncertain about ordering a mattress online. They were unsure whether they could move it, whether it would actually ‘inflate’, or what it would look like.
So, Josh suggested SIMBA create a video of two people unboxing and using the mattress, and run it as an ad. We hired a branding team to handle the production, then ran the ad, which you can see the latest version of here.

Perfect night's sleep. FREE delivery

With that strategy alone, we started to see a more than 2-to-1 return on the ads.

We paid approximately £582,743.02 to run the ads, and we got £1,260,178.81 as a return for that strategy on cold audiences. It also generated a huge number of social interactions and shares, which in turned boosted the brand credibility and lowered CPA.

It was a huge step in the right direction, and now we had some solid momentum.

Next Strategy

Running a promotion to get evenmore sales and growth

The founders wanted to run a promotion next. To be honest, we were against a straight up promotion. One of our philosophies at cubatica.

We feel promotions devalue the product when you give a percentage off. So instead, we suggested we offer an incentive. As a team, we decided on a mattress cover (which retailed at £70) We actually didn’t think it would be a big seller, but we were pleasantly surprised as the public responded to it. Our spend was £100,977.54 and got a return of £619,108.42 (613.11% ROI)

Yes – that was a 600%+ ROI

Then, we noticed there were a lot of people who were leaving their cart without purchasing. The part they were leaving at was where they had to choose the measurements of the mattress. So we created this ‘ugly ad’ that was retargeted to everyone who had abandoned their cart, so they could complete their purchase.

The ‘ugly ad’ secured over £10 million pounds in revenue alone, on a £900k spend, and now we create similar strategic ‘abandon cart retargeting’ strategy for all clients we work with.

Here’s everything else we helped SIMBA with

  • Hire their head of marketing and their 2 key Facebook performance marketers
  • Train their internal staff to take over the channels from myself
  • Split test their checkout funnels to get a 10% lift in conversions
  • Setup their attribution modelling with the help of Fishtown Analytics
  • Setup their GA / GTM tracking and events for working on all channels
  • Create dynamic landing pages to match ads and content to the page they would be landing on.
  • Reviewed and updated their email marketing strategy
  • Implement and adjust the marketing budgets
  • Sourced partnerships with the likes of Wonderbly, Porsche, Not on the High street and more using cold email.
  • Helped to launch them in new non-english markets
  • Helped to put together product marketing road maps.
  • Successfully launch the brand on other channels
    • Pinterest
    • Twitter

This all took place over the spread of 18 months. Once we had fully scaled Simba Sleep, we found them an internal team they could hire, and removed ourselves from the business, our job complete.

By the end, SIMBA went from self -funded to earning well over £33 Million in revenue, and then secured a further £20+ million in investments as a result of the massive growth that I helped build over that 18 month period.

Final Results

Simba Sleep is now a mattress company in the UK who have currently grown to over £100 Million in revenue, and is now Europe’s market leader by 50% ahead of competitors, still with by far the lowest return rate in the industry.

If You Love the Idea of Tripling Your Sales…Get in touch with Cubatica now for a free marketing assessment

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