Sweatcoin: Stepping up to the Plate, Cryptocurrency-Style!
There was once a time when humankind favored nothing but physical activity. With the surge of technology, however, the days of staying active turned to ancient history.
Now, most of our daily hustle has gone online, and with it, health fell off everyone’s priority list.
Two friends, Oleg Fomenko and Anton Derlyatka were also tired of abandoning physical fitness in the name of surfing the net. To mend the issue yet keep everyone happy, the duo created the first digital health platform of its kind.
Largely supported by technology and virtual currencies, Sweatcoin is a health app that rewards everyone’s training efforts! It enables users to reach their fitness goal by awarding coins to be later used for free site subscriptions or purchasing a variety of products. With a unique train-to-earn approach, Sweatcoin proves that getting fit pays off - literally!
Counting over 40 million users globally, here’s how Oleg and Anton made keeping the world in shape their business!
Made in Russia
Oleg Fomenko was born in the Soviet Union. He was raised in a family of military engineers who created military applications during the Cold War. Although he grew up in a math-and-physics environment, he avoided the engineering profession because he saw the country’s unfair treatment of engineers. As a child, Oleg was fearless and always strived to be part of something big and even international.
Anton Derlyatka was also born in the Soviet Union. Throughout his youth, Anton had always been an eager fan of exercising and leading a healthy lifestyle, something he would professionally tend to years later. The future co-founders first met whilst working at a former job. But, despite their professional bond, at the time, they failed to connect on a friendly level.
Out & About
Bearing bad engineering experiences, Oleg decided to focus on lower-risk jobs.
He graduated from Moscow’s Institute of Management with a diploma in phycology and sociology. With that knowledge, Oleg became not only specific in all social problems but also knew exactly where and what must be done to improve the state Russia was in. His first move after college was to get employment in the marketing sector, as sales were the only viable assets to save the Soviet Union from the crisis.
After a few years, Oleg went to work for Coca-Cola in Austria and stayed with the company for 4 years. However, he still didn’t feel that he found his place in the world and decided to next move to London. It was 2000, a new millennium and a whole new chapter for Oleg. Once he settled in the UK, Oleg started working for Boston Consulting Group where he sharpened his entrepreneurial sword. There, he started a music platform, but his unripe business skills caused it to fail shortly after.
Around the same time when Oleg moved to the UK, Anton moved to the city as well, to study business at the London Business School. Anton thrived in his studies and a few years later, he held his Master’s degree in Business Administration. The two inventors then crossed paths but didn’t click other than professionally. That’s until, one day, Oleg invited Anton to climb Kilimanjaro together with a team of climbers and Oleg’s mother. Although the two climbed the mountain, when they reached the peak, Oleg’s mother fell ill and had to be taken to a hospital immediately. Interestingly, Anton was the one to carry her down the mountains - on his two hands. Seeing his selflessness, from that day onwards, Oleg considered Anton as one of his closest friends.
To Sweat, To Coin, or Both?
When Oleg lost his music-related startup he also lost his motivation for training.
He spent most of his days at home, trying to research his next viable business idea. In doing his research, Oleg came across Bitcoins and became fascinated by the idea. Anton, on the other hand, noticed that technology dramatically reduced people’s will to exercise, including Oleg’s.
Anton realized that it was high time that changed and suggested to Oleg the idea of creating an online app to motivate people to exercise more. As Oleg was interested in cryptocurrency, the two friends fused their ideas and came up with a promising concept.
Officially, Sweatcoin was founded on January 31, 2016, in England, the UK.
Get Credit for Every Step You Take!
Sweatcoin is a cryptocurrency and a reward platform that rewards every 1,000 steps completed. Users can then use their coins as an exchange for services or products, typically from renowned brands.
The app bears the same name as its virtual currency and verifies the steps walked through a draconian algorithm. Fascinatingly, the algorithm can instantly recognize any movement that is not a step which gives the app higher efficiency and accuracy.
The benefit of this app is that every step taken counts, no matter if it is a short walk or a hike. The coins it awards users for meeting their goals cannot be cashed out but can be alternated for needful goodies and services. Simply put, with a touch of technology, Anton and Oleg figured out a way to convert walks into money!
The company made an especially huge impact on fitness-deprived groups, like obese individuals who wanted to improve their health and earn a bonus reward for it.
In the beginning, Sweatcoin only counted 10 employees but currently has 52 staffers in its workforce. Although the idea of Sweatcoin was Oleg and Anton’s, to realize the idea, the two had extra help from a soon-to-be third co-founder, Egor Khmelev, who mainly worked out of Moscow.
Whilst initially Sweatcoin struggled to make ends meet financially, the good graces were on their side, and the platform soon witnessed its first funding. During the first round, Sweatcoin raised $600,000, from Goodwater Capital, and Runa Capital, who still loyally back the company. All in all, the company raised a total of $6.3 million in funding, completed in three rounds, the last of which took place in 2019, from an incognito Venture round.
Funding aside, Sweatcoin enjoys a diverse team of 12 different nationalities, all working behind the scenes to enrich the overall customer experience. In the first year and a half of its launch, Sweatcoin struggled to form partnerships and get the word out there. However, it took less than two years for Sweatcoin to generate a presence across 20 million smartphones worldwide. Once the numbers were there, Sweatcoin finally became noticeable to many brand moguls that gladly partnered up with the company and sold their products under Sweatcoin’s wing. In its existence, Sweatcoin concluded staggering 300 partnerships whose services and products can be exchanged for their virtual coins.
Outsmarting Sweatcoin’s algorithm
Although Sweatcoin hadn’t had significant problems on the market, they weren’t immune to obstacles attacking the app’s integrity. In this digital era we live in, apps can quickly reach mega success, and can vanish from the marketplace just as quickly.
Such a situation happened to Sweatcoin when the company grew globally. Once it hit the 20-million-users mark, it started receiving abundant negative feedback regarding its use of cryptocurrency. However, the company defended its move and even assured that far from being virtual, their Sweatcoins would soon become a viable cryptocurrency anyone got to make use of.
Another problem that occurred was related to the step-calculating algorithm. Unfortunately, gym-goers complained that they didn’t get the same benefits for their effort as users who walked. Also, there were allegations that users could outsmart the algorithm and earn coins by cheating. As the feedback piled up, the company had to act immediately to solve the issues.
Their first move in solving this problem was to upgrade the algorithm and ensure that cheaters won’t be able to misuse the app. As for users who worked out indoors, Sweatcoin further upgraded its algorithms to read user activity at home or in the gym.
Sweatcoin Counts Its Steps, Too
Sweatcoin is among the most efficient health apps globally and drastically improved the lives of people struggling with obesity. To the founders, there isn’t greater success than improving someone’s life without sacrificing technology nor physical activity in the meantime. Down the line, the company promises that its Sweatcoins will become a universally accepted form of payment.
The stellar success of Sweatcoin is both community-oriented to its core - and takes its users on a promising step-by-step journey. How many steps does it take to get there, you ask? As much as it takes to get from Earth to Jupiter, according to Sweatcoin’s total number of steps taken since its existence!