This Australian mattress startup has created a witty parody of a famous rival

The Koala ad at Sydney airport. Source: Koala Mattress/Facebook

Koala Mattress is a Sydney-based online retailer that’s less than two years old, but has already carved out a strong niche.

Started by two surfers from Byron Bay on the NSW far north coast, Dany Milham, a one-time professional gamer turned IT guy, and Mitch Taylor, a former footy coach.

Their tech-based disruption business sells mattresses for around $1,000 each and in its first year managed to rack up more than $13 million in sales.

The company is working on a capital raise for later this year as they set their sights on the Japanese market and look set to more than treble revenue this year.

Koala is a cheeky upstart that’s taken its larrikin spirit to the next level with a new billboard ad that mimics one of China’s fastest growing retail brands, deRucci, best known for the mysterious, stern bearded man staring out of the corner of its ads like something from a Jungian nightmare and bedding that costs several thousand dollars.

Branding themselves “de Koala” the ad is tagged “Australia’s least pretentious mattress”, with one of the company’s designers, Dimitri, given the task of starring as the slightly spooky bearded guy looking over the bed.

“He’s our resident deRucci,” joked co-founder Dany Milham.

The ad was created in-house, with a viral quality in mind, despite the fact that it’s only in one place, at Sydney airport, for a month.

“We’re a challenger brand who wanted to call out the industry and have a bit of a laugh about it,” Milham explains, adding that just a week on, they’ve “already seen returns from it”.

Koala Mattress is now in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong and just two months away from launching in Japan.

The company recently moved into new offices in Alexandria, now has 40 staff and has spent the last two months building out its skills base as they brought everything in-house.

Milham says they’ve also been working on a new product for “outside the bedroom” for release before Christmas.

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