Cadoo will get $1.5M to gamify health with betting challenges

Written by Jeff Lampkin

Cadoo, a US-startup that’s gamifying health by turning it right into a betting alternative, utilizing the prospect of successful (or dropping) chilly exhausting money to inspire folks to get off the sofa, has collected $1.5 million in seed funds from Sam & Max Altman’s Apollo VC and the student-focused Dorm Room Fund.

The app itself has been round since 2018 however in March 2020 it launched a “problem mannequin” that lets customers stake cash to hitch a problem associated to a selected health objective — be it working 10 miles in 10 days, or strolling three miles in three days.

Members who obtain the problem objective get their stake again and a pro-rata share of losers’ staked entry charges.

A variety of health ranges are catered to by Cadoo’s challenges (“from each day steps to marathon coaching”), with some 50 public challenges hosted per week.

It’s additionally including personal challenges this month — which can allow customers to host and configure health challenges for themselves/household and pals, or bigger teams, similar to corporations, golf equipment, or faculties.

Problem-related exercise is verified by the app by way of API information from exercise trackers and health apps. (Which hopefully means Cadoo is sensible sufficient to detect if somebody has hooked up their Fitbit to their canine… )

The app has assist for plenty of third occasion health companies, together with Strava, Fitbit and Apple Well being.

CEO and founder Colm Hayden describes the startup as “DraftKings on your personal health objectives”.

“Our viewers consists of 25-50 yr previous health fanatics’ who use Cadoo to remain dedicated to their month-to-month/weekly health objectives,” he instructed TechCrunch, including: “When persons are critical a couple of objective they’re attempting to achieve, they need intense motivation to again their ambitions.”

He says the app has attracted round 7,000 wager-loving customers to this point.

Cadoo’s enterprise mannequin relies on taking a payment from problem losers earlier than their entry payment stakes are distributed to problem winners — which does probably give the enterprise an incentive to set tougher challenges than customers are capable of full.

However after all it’s as much as customers to choose which challenges to enter and thereby commit their hard-earned money to.

It additionally claims that 90% of customers who join Cadoo challenges efficiently full them.

Hayden says it has future plans to broaden monetization potential by provideing winners health merchandise — and taking a margin on these merchandise. And likewise by increasing into different varieties of verifiable objectives, not simply working/strolling. 

“We’re working to construct a motivation platform that permits anyone to achieve their objectives,” he says. “Monetary incentives is an intense motivator, and 90% of customers who join Cadoo challenges attain their health objectives. We’re making Cadoo a lot greater than simply working objectives, and sooner or later incentivizing virtually any objective verifiable on the web.”

Whereas the app is US-based funds are processed by PayPal and Hayden says it’s capable of assist participation internationally — a minimum of all over the place the place PayPal is obtainable.

Commenting on the seed elevate in an announcement, Apollo VC’s Altman brothers added: “Cadoo makes it simple to inspire customers to remain energetic with monetary incentives. We imagine the motivation business that Cadoo is pioneering will probably be an vital digital cash use-case.”

Earlier than the seed spherical, Cadoo says it had raised $350,000 by way of an angel spherical from Tim Parsa’s Cloud Cash Ventures Angel Syndicate, Wintech Ventures, and Daniel Gross’s Pioneer.

After all gamification of well being is nothing new — given the data-fuelled quantification and goal-based motivation that’s been occurring round health for years, fuelled by wearables that make it trivially simple to trace steps, distances, energy burned and so on.

However injecting cash into the combo provides one other aggressive layer which may be useful for motivating a sure sort of individual to get or keep match.

Cadoo isn’t the one fitness-focused startup to be taking this tack, both, although — with plenty of apps that pay customers to shed weight or in any other case be energetic (albeit, generally much less instantly by paying them in digital forex that may be exchanged for ‘rewards’). Others within the house embrace the likes of HealthyWage (a TC50 firm we coated all the best way again in 2009!); Runtopia and StepBet, to call just a few.  

The way forward for sports activities tech: Right here’s the place buyers are inserting their bets

It received’t change the gymnasium, however Health+ will aid you break a sweat

About the author

Jeff Lampkin

Jeff Lampkin was the first writer to have joined He has since then inculcated very effective writing and reviewing culture at GamePolar which rivals have found impossible to imitate. His approach has been to work on the basics while the whole world was focusing on the superstructures.