In today’s busy lifestyle, sleep and well-being go hand in hand. Getting a good night’s rest is just as important to overall health as eating well and exercising regularly. Eight is an innovative tech company promising its customers a better night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle. Their signature Smart Mattress combines personalized comfort and cutting-edge machine learning technology to improve people’s sleeping patterns
Matteo Franceschetti is a Co-founder and the CEO of Eight, who was born and raised in Italy. The idea for Eight came from Matteo’s own struggles with the negative impact of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) on his sleeping patterns. He decided to make something that could help people to track, understand and ultimately, optimize their rest.
Prior to founding Eight, Matteo was a practicing attorney and member of the Italian Bar Association. He eventually left the legal field to co-found and manage Global Investment, which was acquired in 2011 and later GIR, which was also successfully acquired in 2014. Both companies operated in the renewable energy space.
Matteo currently serves as a Co-Chair at FWD.us, a company whose goal is to give voice to the technical community in American politics. He enjoys using his experience to help other entrepreneurs as a Mentor at Techstars, Microsoft Bizpark and the NYU Summer Launchpad Program. You can see Matteo’s writings in Forbes magazine, where he is a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
Driven by Data and Customer Feedback
Eight has developed patented sleeping solutions centered around their signature product, the Eight Smart Mattress. The mattress has built-in high-tech sensors that track sleep stages and biometrics during the night. Their Smart Alarm uses information from the sensors to wake you up in the lightest sleep while their AI-Powered Sleep Coach interprets your individual sleep data and delivers personalized insights and recommendations to each user.
The company has tracked over 2.5M nights of sleep, setting Eight on the path to becoming the world’s largest sleep database for understanding and studying sleep on both a biological and behavioral level. This trajectory has attracted the world’s top sleep researchers to join the company’s Scientific Advisory Board, including doctors and clinicians from Harvard Medical School, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Mount Sinai and Stanford. Investors are also enticed by Eight’s promising future, recently pouring $14M into a Series B led by Kohsla Ventures. Other investors have included Y Combinator and Yunqi Partners.
Beyond data analysis, there is something else that drives development and innovation at Eight: it’s customers. According to Matteo, “Part of our culture is to be driven by customer discovery”. This includes regular calls and meetings with customers to understand what they want or need. “Based on their feedback, we take actions on both the software and hardware side to solve their problems,” Matteo explains. “Customer discovery is at the core of the way we work.”
A Culture of Testing
While participating in Y Combinator (YC), a Silicon Valley startup accelerator, Matteo learned some valuable lessons that he has woven into the DNA of Eight’s work culture. On what he took away from that experience, Matteo shared, “we learned to focus on what really matters and how to break down any problem or project into smaller problems or projects that can be addressed quickly.” Instead of working on a project for 60 days and then launching, Matteo advises that you think about how you can break it down to 60 steps and then work to accomplish something small each step of the way. The thinking behind the concept is that you want to be able to start learning right away.
“It’s okay to build something that isn’t perfect and launch it. That way you get feedback and start learning as fast as possible,” Matteo says.
Leading a Tech Company
Matteo believes that there are a few qualities that are important to have in order to build and lead a successful technology business. First is resourcefulness. “Every startup will face ups and downs and problems will need be solved quickly,” Matteo shares. Second is the ability to inspire others. He finds this to be crucial because the inherent mission of technology is to shape the future that doesn’t yet exist. Matteo says that, “You need to be able to share that vision with your team and motivate them to believe they can build it.” Third is the conviction to solve problems for consumers. Matteo believes that to be successful in business, you need to identify problems that people have and find business opportunities to solve those problems through technology.
On the Future of Eight
On what he sees for the future of the company, Matteo said, “I see a future where we will be able to help people live healthier and longer lives through the power of data and AI technology.”