Cadoo gets $1.5M to gamify fitness with betting challenges

Cadoo, a US-startup that’s gamifying fitness by turning it into a betting opportunity, using the prospect of winning (or losing) cold hard cash to motivate people to get off the couch, 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 around since 2018 but in March 2020 it launched a “challenge model” that lets users stake money to join a challenge related to a specific fitness goal — be it running 10 miles in 10 days, or walking three miles in three days.

Participants who achieve the challenge goal get their stake back and a pro-rata share of losers’ staked entry fees.

A range of fitness levels are catered to by Cadoo’s challenges (“from daily steps to marathon training”), with some 50 public challenges hosted per week.

It’s also adding private challenges this month — which will enable users to host and configure fitness challenges for themselves/family and friends, or larger groups, such as companies, clubs, or schools.

Challenge-related activity is verified by the app via API data from activity trackers and fitness apps. (Which hopefully means Cadoo is smart enough to detect if someone has attached their Fitbit to their dog… )

The app has support for a number of third party fitness services, including Strava, Fitbit and Apple Health.

CEO and founder Colm Hayden describes the startup as “DraftKings for your own fitness goals”.

“Our audience consists of 25-50 year old (Read more...)