Interview with Francesco Gradilone, COO of M8
June 14, 2022
Interview with Francesco Gradilone, COO of M8, the startup dedicated to the world of videogames and that organizes gaming sessions and teammates research.
The video games market in Italy is healthier than ever: the video game in Italy was not at all the “fashion of the moment”, but a rapidly growing consumer product, increasingly loved by the Italian people. Multiplayer online games are particularly popular in the video game landscape, thanks to the ability to be used via a simple internet connection and also because they can group thousands of players within the same server at the same time. However, it can be depressing not to find people of your level or who ignore your team: that’s why M8 is born!
What is M8?
M8 is the platform dedicated to gamers that will make you find, in a simple and fast way, suitable people to play with and according to the characteristics of the game. The beta version of M8 provides, at the moment, three titles that are among the most popular games of the moment: Fortnite, Call of Duty – Warzone and League of Legends.
Simply download the platform and register your profile to start looking for new players, create new lobbies or join existing ones. In addition, with M8 you’ll also have the opportunity to chat with other members of the group and save all the contacts of the players you prefer!
To find out more about the app, we interviewed Francesco Gradilone, COO of M8.
Hello Francesco, thank you so much for this opportunity. It is really a pleasure to meet you. Tell us something more about M8.
Hello everybody, the pleasure is mine, thank you for the opportunity. The vision of M8 is to carry on the hypothesis that playing online is a new way of socializing and being together with other people. We want to enhance the relationships between players, and the app is a useful tool for this purpose. We have just released a first version in the stores, to collect feedback and metrics from the many users who are downloading the app in Italy, in order to offer the best possible service.
How and when was the idea born?
The idea was born during Dock3 – the startup laboratory of the University of Roma Tre – where I met Pier Vincenzo De Lellis and Francesco Foresi. We formed a team and conceived the idea of M8, sharing a passion for gaming and technology. Then, when we were one of the best three projects of Dock3, we decided to get serious, founding the startup and working on the beta version of the application, which you can now find on the main mobile stores.
How did you launch your startup? Did you use crowdfunding campaigns?
To make us know, we have created sponsored content on the channels frequented by our target, which we know well as we are gamers too. This has led us to meet people who frequent the gaming and esports industry. People who are supporting us spreading the word of mouth and who we thank, along with all the users who are using the app.
The initial investment to start the startup comes from the founders and the small prizes won through public funds for innovation and youth entrepreneurship. We do not exclude the possibility of starting a crowdfunding campaign in the future.
How do platform search filters work?
At the moment M8 offers the possibility to create chat-rooms (Lobby) for a precise game session, then through the filters, you can search for the game mode you want and add some useful information, such as the microphone and the platform from which you play.
Who is your team composed of?
Pier Vincenzo De Lellis and Francesco Foresi are IT engineers: Francesco controls all the programming and development of the app; Pier Vincenzo, as CEO, also manages the startup. Together we are the founders of M8. Andrea Gelao is the head of marketing and Daniele Massaro, graphic designer, is the art director of the project. I am a psychologist and I am in charge of group coordination and project management. As a startup, we support each other in the group work and the choices we make.
We are working to improve some features already in the app and to add new ones: among the most important there is definitely the tracking of player statistics in games. In the meantime we continue to use the app to play with other users and understand what they need.
Interesting fact: Would you like to tell us about the final choice of the name?
M8 was immediately the first choice for the name. As soon as Francesco and Pier Vincenzo proposed it to me, we understood that it was the right one, as it represents very well the idea of the project: it is the slang used by players to refer to their teammates.