Sweatcoin, maker of a health app which rewards users for walking, raised $5.7 million as it hit top spot on the US and UK App Stores.

In a statement, it said its success marks “the fastest ascent of any health and fitness app in history, acquiring more than 5 million registered users in less than a year”. Its weekly active user figure stands at 2 million.

The app, which generated a sequential rise in revenue of 266 per cent in Q4 2017, rewards users with Sweatcoins (a virtual currency) based on how much they walk. This currency can be used to buy gadgets, sports and fitness gear, services and experiences from around 300 retailers and lifestyle brands.

A representative told Mobile World Live 1,000 steps equals one Sweatcoin: “5 per cent of that is our commission, so the user gets 0.95 sweatcoins per 1,000 steps,” he explained, adding Sweatcoin’s value is not yet linked to GBP, so for now it’s up to vendor partners to set a price for their products and services.

He said the app gets raw step data from pedometers installed in many mobile phones (the same data as in Apple’s Health Kit and GoogleFit). The data is then verified by Sweatcoin’s proprietary algorithm, which is designed to detect cheating (for instance, putting the phone on a dog or on top of a washing machine) by using GPS info.

Step change
Chi-Hua Chien, managing partner of Goodwater Capital, which led the round, and a Sweatcoin board member, said: “Turning movement into real-world value for millions of people is the lever that is required to change behaviour.”

Anton Derlyatka, Sweatcoin co-founder, explained the company has “a very bold plan to take the concept of fitness into the future, which even includes the ability to pay taxes with Sweatcoin. This funding round will allow us to build out the product and technology team in order to scale even faster”.

Meanwhile co-founder Oleg Fomenko said the focus is on delivering a great user experience and developing technology which will allow Sweatcoin to be traded like any other major crypto currency.