March 10, 2020

#21: Matteo Franceschetti, CEO of Eight Sleep

In this episode, Joe Vennare is joined by Matteo Franceschetti, CEO of Eight Sleep.

In recent years, there’s been a shift away from hustle culture and pulling all-nighters toward sleep and recovery. In this conversation, the two get into sleep tech—including how Eight Sleep is using AI, data, and temperature regulation to improve sleep. Matteo also explains his plans to expand beyond the mattress to reinvent the entire sleep environment, and they chat about why Eight Sleep is often compared to Tesla.

Check out an overview of the conversation below or listen to the entire episode for more.

What is Eight Sleep?

MF: Eight Sleep is the first sleep fitness company. We leverage technology to improve your sleep performance. 

The current hero product is called the Pod — it looks like a mattress, but it’s really a consumer electronic device with the most sophisticated sleep technology. It’s the first mattress that changes and controls your temperature during the night, heating and cooling between 55 and 100 degrees. Our monitoring and AI system adjusts the temperature based on your biometrics.

What makes Eight Sleep different?

MF: Our unique value is in the technology and data. We use sensors that transform your bed into a sort of stethoscope, and use software to look at your data in the same way that a doctor would. 

We can pick up heart rate, vibration, snoring, respiration, and then obviously, sleep stages and sleep quality. Based on all this information, we suggest different temperature settings using our liquid cooling technology.

How does sleep impact overall health?

MF: The same thing that happened for fitness 10, 20 years ago is now happening for sleep. Everyone knows that taking care of your body and being fit is really important for your health and your longevity. 

The next step is sleep, and the reason is simple. Health is based on three pillars: nutrition, working out, and sleep. Overall, we have decent knowledge about the first two, but until now, there was no company really taking care of your sleep.

Sleep could even be seen as the first pillar, meaning, if you don’t get enough sleep you won’t have the energy needed to take care of your nutrition and your fitness.

How do you think about the future of sleep?

MF: Sleep is something you have to do every day. It’s so important for how you feel and your energy. Lack of sleep can also be a consequence for your personal and professional life. 

Taking care of your sleep is really about being methodical, having good habits and using products that can do part of the job for you. That is how we see the future of sleep.

Until now, when you think of sleep, you think of your mattress and pillow. But, that’s over simplified and it doesn’t work anymore. You cannot be super high energy and a high performer during the day and then just go to bed and just fall asleep. 

It’s something much broader that involves working on your mind first to relax and slow down, because otherwise, your mind would be racing and then it affects your body during the night.

Where does Eight Sleep fit into that future? 

MF: I think the key difference and strengths of Eight Sleep is we provide all that you need for your sleep. We are really creating an ecosystem of products that you could wear or use before going to bed or while you are asleep, in order to maximize your sleep performance. All this is possible because you sleep on the Pod, so we have your data.

We just launched a collaboration for supplements to help you fall asleep faster. We developed a special type of blue light glasses to wear at night before going to bed to block blue light and help you develop melatonin to fall asleep faster. We also created specific meditation and breathing exercises designed to help you fall asleep faster.

What got investors excited about Eight Sleep?

MF: It’s the technology. I think what excites them is to know that to develop our technology is really complicated. There is no company right now doing what we’re doing.

The latest interaction in sleep was about how you buy a mattress, so it’s about convenience, it’s not about the product itself. The next interaction in sleep is what is happening now and it’s happening to technology. Until now, most of the companies were focused only on sleep tracking, which is nice, but sleep tracking alone is not actionable and won’t improve your sleep.

So, what excited our investors was the opportunity to monitor your data, and based on data, take action for you and improve your sleep quality. And everyone sleeps, so the market is huge.

What’s the end goal?

MF: Right now, the number one focus is to develop and improve the most sophisticated sleep technology on Earth.

The end goal is to make everyone “sleep fit”; to innovate with true technology and make sure that we really control the whole sleep ecosystem so we can find sleep efficiency. 

My vision is, what if in 10 years from now, you could sleep only six hours and get more rest than when you were sleeping eight hours? That is a 25% improvement in sleep performance. To achieve that, we will want to address, manage, and provide product solutions for every environmental factor.

**Note: Matteo’s answers have been edited for brevity and cohesion. 

About Matteo Franceschetti: 

Matteo Franceschetti has always been obsessed with performance. Athletic performance, business performance, and now sleep performance.

An athlete from a young age—he was a competitive ski racer in his native Italy and played tennis and raced cars on the European stage—Matteo has always been focused on winning, and on winning in record time. That drive to succeed propelled him from sports podiums to the top tier of the international legal world and to start two clean-tech companies on two continents, all before age 30. Not surprisingly, sleepless nights were a way of life.

It was Matteo’s quest for more restorative sleep, in fact, that led him to quit his previous life and launch Eight Sleep, a New York-based company dedicated to fueling human potential through optimal sleep, and to turning the bed into a seamless health platform for improved health, performance, and longevity. The path he took to becoming CEO of Eight Sleep, however, is as circuitous as the tracks he raced in his youth.

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