Business owners find millions under the mattress
WE SPEND a third of our lives sleeping, so we should make the most of it.
That's the sentiment which catapulted childhood friends Mitch Taylor and Dany Milham into the millionaires' club before the age of 30.
Mr Taylor, 29, is a Steiner school alumni while Mr Milham, 26, is a Mullum High School alumni.
The duo's online bedding retail start-up, Koala, was launched in November 2015 with less than $2,000 in the bank and turned over $13 million in it's first year of trade.
Based on January growth figures, the company with two permanent staff at Byron Bay expects revenue of more than $50 million in 2017.
The business idea of affordable, quality mattresses with 'anti-disturbance' technology was dreamed up over a series of brain storming sessions in Byron Bay.
Mr Taylor agreed it was ambitious to compete in a $10 billion dollar industry dominated by three large corporations.
But none of those players adopt a koala for every mattress sold, promise you can jump on your bed while balancing a full glass of wine on the mattress, or deliver express.
"Just think about a high-quality Australian made sofa being delivered to your door within four hours of ordering, priced at an honest and fair price," Mr Taylor said.
"Australians are sick of poor quality imported furniture at outrageously inflated prices with two-12 week delivery times.
"Beyond the heavily inflated expense, consumers have been forced to accept poor quality imported good."
Koala intended to raise $5 million in capital this time last year, but the faster than expected sales meant it didn't have to.
The company is trying to raise $15 million capital to develop markets in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Britain.
In addition to mattresses, the e-commerce company will start selling bedsheets, pillows and sofas, and look to develop new sleep technologies.
Behind the Koala brand is Gum Leaf, the proprietary software company enabling departments within Koala to communicate efficiently.
"This is our secret to scalability, my co-founder Dany Milham is an absolute genius, coming from a software background whatever we dream can become a reality," Mr Taylor said.
"I imagine traditional retailers will be wetting their pants when they read this, and rightly so.
"We have taken 3-5% of the entire mattress market with less capital required for a home loan deposit, just think what our talented team can achieve with $15 million to grow this category."
Go online to find out more about the company.