This Company Wants to Pay You for Your Steps. Here's How it Works.
The co-founder and CEO of Sweatcoin explains how the company's move-to-earn vision is helping people be healthier while also getting brands in front of 100 million users.
Jessica Abo: Anton, why was it so important for you to create this company around walking?
Being active is not as easy as it seems to sound. Granted, about 30 percent of us react well to the traditional healthy lifestyle. We go out for a walk, we go out for a run, and we go to the gym on a regular basis, but the reality is about 70 percent of the world population struggles. There are serial failures -- people who start the process, install a new app, sign up to a gym, and they give up. And they do it again and again and again. So it's very hard to sustain that physical activity. We created a product to tackle this differently. We are trying to rewire our brains because mother nature did not create us to be active.
We're trying to use a behavioral technique called instant gratification to reward your immediate activity, because whenever you're trying to be active, you go to the gym, and you sweat, and you suffer, and there's no result that you can touch, it's not tangible because the benefit is removed into a very distant future. So you have to maintain that activity. So what we're trying to do, we're trying to tackle the problem through a behavioral technique, as I mentioned, called instant gratification, whereby we grab the value from the future, bring it to the present, and give it straight back to the user so that your achievement is tangible.
The way the app works in very simple terms is you walk, we make sure that your steps are real and you're putting your phone on a dog or top of a washing machine. We issue you a virtual currency called sweatcoins, which you can then use to pay for product services, and experiences from more than 600 partners that we have. You can donate to charity, and very soon, you'll be able to convert your sweatcoins into crypto.
How did you get so many global partners to participate in your move-to-earn vision?
So this is how it works. It's either physical activity that brands are interested in, or they are interested in our users. Firstly, we make people more active, and that's very attractive to some, insurers and healthcare providers. For example, we work with the NHS, which is the National Healthcare System in the UK.
Secondly, brands like to be able to connect with our users. We've got 100 million registered users around the world, and that's a very attractive thing for lots of brands. So they make the products available to our users so users can pay sweatcoins in exchange for products and then they'll be able to connect with our users and monetize at some point in time later.
I know that the next phase of this is to take everything to Web3. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Right now you can exchange your steps into products, services, experiences, and donations, but we always knew we'd be crypto one day. Crypto opens up an incredible new range of possibilities. So if you hold crypto, you can engage with new things, exciting things, such as NFT. You can have access to D5 functionality. Essentially you have a liquid asset. So essentially introducing a new token that you can exchange your steps into will open up that incredible universe of possibilities.
Can you share how your company got to 100 million users and the advice that you have for entrepreneurs out there who are trying to grow their communities as well?
I think what's important is to have an idea that you really, really believe in that can touch a billion people. Because some ideas can be a great business, but whether it's going to be available or interesting or attractive to a billion people, that's another question. Doesn't mean that that's a bad business. You start with co-founders, but then you build a bigger team, and the team needs to be as excited as if not more excited than you are. So I think that building that team, building a culture that is focused on the mission, on the achievement is a pretty cool thing because you end up just enjoying it more than if you didn't do it. And then of course luck. You cannot get away without luck.