Sweatcoin, a free smartphone app that pays people to be physically active, said on Wednesday it has secured its first round of institutional funding after topping download charts in Britain and the United States.
Sweatcoin lets users earn “sweatcoins” for working out, and the app is taking off fast. The app links to your phone’s fitness and location data to measure workout progress, according to Sweatcoin’s website. Every 1,000 steps gives users .95 sweatcoins. People can use those sweatcoins to buy workout gear, classes and more, or donate them to partner charities around the world. Though branded as a “digital currency,” the sweatcoins are more akin to rewards points that many platforms offer.
The app has gain more than five million users and boasts more than 2 million weekly active users, according to TechCrunch. It’s currently the No. 3 free app and the No. 1 free health and fitness app in Apple’s iOS App Store.
Sweatcoin’s parent company, the London-based start-up Sweatco, has raised $1.6 million in financing, according to the New York Times. The app makes money by marketing the products of other companies to its users. As people redeem Sweatcoins for rewards, the company that owns the product pays a fee to Sweatcoin, the Times reports.
So far, you can only earn sweatcoins for “outdoor” steps, so any treadmill workouts wouldn’t count since it verifies steps through GPS data. However, the app does appear to include steps from walking around inside.
The app is available on Android phones, iPhones and Apple Watch Series 2.