James Cox: Simba
James Cox’s business has nothing to do with lions or Disney films. But his smart mattresses are ensuring that Britain sleeps tonight
James Cox, 30
As the pace of life continues to increase, the sleep market is booming like never before.
The market for mattresses and sleep aids has grown into a billion-dollar industry, and a profusion of start-ups have made it one of the world’s competitive sectors – despite all their talk about relaxing and unwinding.
One such start-up is Simba. The company has already raised nearly £60m in external funding, and year-on-year growth is running at a remarkable 350%.
James Cox, who co-founded Simba alongside Steve Reid and mattress experts the McClements family, says his company has “simplified sleep” with a one-type-fits-all mattress that adapts to its occupier.
The product, made of hybrid memory foam, is sold online and shipped in compressed boxes, ensuring ease of use for time-poor professionals.
Cox and his team launched their business at the start of 2016 and success came almost immediately. Revenue reached £9.1m in the first year and the business soon expanded into myriad markets, including Canada, Israel and the UAE.
Consolidating on this dream start, Simba closed a colossal £40m Series B round at the end of last year. Today the company is backed by a raft of high-profile investors including fellow Young Gun, innocent drinks and JamJar Investments co-founder, Richard Reed.
Thanks in no small part to its endorsement by Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, Simba has gained widespread recognition. The country has already sold over 100,000 mattresses in the UK alone, and Cox talks proudly of running the leading sleep brand in Europe.
The next stage of Simba’s vision is clear: to crack the £10bn US and £11bn Asian market. If Cox and his team can pull this off, they will go a long way toward putting their competition to bed.