- US sleep tech company Eight Sleep has launched its best-selling Pod Pro Cover in the UK this month, with plans to quickly push across the continent
- Since 2014, the Florida-based company has raised over $150M, with 2021 revenue on track to more than triple that of 2020
- Investors include actor and comedian Kevin Hart and Valor Equity Partners Founder Antonio Gracias, who also sits on the boards of Tesla and SpaceX
- “We have an opportunity to use our data to help science really advance the knowledge we have around sleep,” Co-Founder Alexandra Zatarain told Welltodo.
MIAMI, United States — Next-gen sleep tech company Eight Sleep is dreaming of rapid international expansion having just made its best-selling Pod Pro Cover available to customers in the United Kingdom for the first time this month.
The Miami-based brand is now setting its sights on the rest of Europe in its bid to “fuel human potential through optimal sleep”. The Pod Pro Cover, which can be fitted over any double and king mattress up to 40cm in height, enables its user to create a personalised microclimate in bed.
Health-grade sensors and AI learning allow the innovative smart cover to adapt to sleep patterns and the ambient climate to give its user a better night’s rest. Eight Sleep also recently launched SleepOS, the world’s first operating system for sleep optimisation that will give users invaluable insights on key health metrics.
For Co-Founder and VP Alexandra Zatarain, Eight Sleep’s push into the European market is a major milestone for a brand looking to carve a unique niche out of the exponentially growing $84 billion global sleep market.
“Everyone sleeps, so it’s definitely a huge market,” she told Welltodo, commenting on the UK launch. “It’s estimated to reach $84 billion this year but that encompasses a lot of different aspects of sleep. At Eight Sleep we’re really creating our own category within the larger space.
“We believe in using technology to create innovative products to actually solve the challenges we all face with sleep. That led us to build the company but it’s also one of the challenges we see for the entire market.
“People are looking for real solutions. There’s been an advent of data that allows people to track how they’re performing across a number of angles. We believe that’s going to be the next big step in the sleep market.”
TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions Of The Year
Founded in 2014, a successful crowdfunding campaign and series of fundraising rounds led to the launch of Eight Sleep’s original Pod Pro Mattress in 2019, recognised by TIME magazine as one of the best inventions of the year two years running.
“We sold close to $1.5 million in pre-orders in just a few weeks,” Zatarain said of the initial crowdfund. “It was very clear that people were looking for what we were building and from there investors really bet on our vision.”
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but rather than derail early success, Zatarain believes it only accelerated growth. “We are a health and wellness company through and through, and the pandemic accelerated the adoption of health technology,” she said.
“Our technology tracks your heart rate at rest, your heart rate variability, your respiratory rate – metrics people are getting used to. Staying healthy has become a bigger purpose in everyone’s lives now and it certainly accelerated things for the business too.”
Eight Sleep’s tech-enabled, data-driven approach, the company believes, has woken up an “archaic” sleep category. And its products – which case studies suggest can help users fall asleep 40% faster and get up to 20% more deep sleep – have certainly caught the attention of celebrities, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, and influential venture capitalists.
Investors include retired MLB athlete Alex Rodriguez, actor and comedian Kevin Hart and author Sophia Amoruso. This August the company also raised a further $86 million in Series C funding led by Valor Equity Partners, with Valor’s Founder Antonio Gracias joining the Eight Sleep board.
Gracias also sits on the boards of Tesla, SpaceX and K Health, having led investments in similarly disruptive companies, including Bird, Reddit, and Uber. “The first night I slept on the Pod I knew we had to get involved,” Gracias said. “Eight Sleep’s products and technology are disrupting the sleep market, and its rapid innovation is outpacing the competition.”
Revenue on track to triple that of 2020
To date, Eight Sleep has raised over $150M, 2021 revenue is on track to more than triple that of 2020 and Zatarain has made it clear that the Florida-born company is targeting high-performance individuals and athletes with its range of sleep products.
“Everyone sleeps, so we could easily become a mass-market consumer product, but right now we’re very focused on what we term ‘high-performers’,” she said.
“Athletes are the ultimate embodiment of it but we see a lot of people in business, CEOs, venture capitalists, and lots of users of the product who became investors because they loved our vision. What they all have in common is that they want to perform at the highest level in whatever they do.”
Zatarain added that giving the sleep sector a makeover is also fundamental to the company’s ambitions. “Thanks to the Pod, I sleep eight to nine hours every night. As a brand, we’re asking, ‘How do we further that conversation to make sleep cool?’,” she said.
“We definitely see that happening more in Silicon Valley with tech companies and entrepreneurs. Sleeping on Eight Sleep is cool. People are sharing their scores and showing they are investing in their wellbeing because that will make them better leaders of their companies.”
Collaborations and partnerships with “brands that have a loyal fan base devoted to their health and fitness” will also play a key role in Eight Sleep’s global ambitions. The company recently announced an exclusive deal with leading global fitness brand Barry’s to become its Official Sleep Fitness Partner.
“There’s a lot of similarities in our audiences,” commented Zatarain. “Barry’s has a really loyal fanbase. They want to get more for that lifestyle and they’re able to get special pricing and access to products for Eight Sleep, and we do the same the other way round for Barry’s.”
With another main focus on R&D, Eight Sleep recently launched SleepOS, an operating system for sleep optimisation that uses data to personalise and adjust the Pod towards each users’ unique sleep fitness goals.
“Our goal is to offer the most sophisticated technologies for restorative and preventative health to people everywhere,” said Eight Sleep’s Co-Founder and CEO, Matteo Franceschetti.
“Expanding to the UK is a step towards helping people all over the globe to achieve optimal health via Eight Sleep’s patented technologies and products.”
“A huge benefit for humanity”
Another fundamental priority for Zatarain and Eight Sleep is greater diversity and representation – both in terms of who will one day use the brand’s products, and who will benefit from the data and insights the company is able to gather.
“For the longest time sleep has been studied in a very constrained way,” Zatarain explained. “As a simple example, women, because of our hormonal cycles and how our temperature fluctuates over the month, we tend to get excluded from a lot of these studies. We almost muddy the data.”
To address this, Eight Sleep wants to use the information privately gathered from its platform to provide experts in the field with data that truly represents all of society, young and old, men and women.
“That just hasn’t been a lens through which a lot of this has been studied before,” she added.
“One of the reasons we have such an amazing scientific advisory board is to be able to get real data from a diverse set of people around the world that truly represents how we are as humans to finally understand how people sleep.
“Beyond building a diverse team and getting our products to as many people as possible, we have an opportunity to use our data to help science really advance the knowledge that we have around sleep,” she added. “I think it will be a huge benefit for humanity.”
The Pod Pro Cover is available for purchase and delivery in the UK with prices starting at $1,695, exclusively at eightsleep.com.