Striiv bags $6M to gamify health and fitness

Faith Merino · September 7, 2011 · Short URL:

The company gets backing from iD Ventures and others as it gears up for its October launch

There’s nothing quite as sad as an abandoned cardio routine.  So many hopes…so many dreams…dashed!  The culprit: a combination of inflexible daily schedules, work and family obligations, lack of motivation, and that strange phenomenon in which you reason that if you just don’t eat, it’s practically the same thing as doing cardio. 

For those people who, for whatever reason, simply can’t make it to the gym every day, there’s Striiv, a new startup that hopes to appeal to the flabby masses with its new pedometer-like device, which measures activity and translates it into virtual gaming rewards.  The company announced Wednesday that it has raised $6 million in a Series A round of financing led by Dr. Ronald Chwang of iD Ventures, with help from Colin Angle of iRobot, Dado Banatao of Tallwood Ventures, and other angel investors.

Gearing up for its big launch in October, Striiv has devised an innovative new way to get people moving by appealing to two explosive trends in the tech world right now: gaming and social/environmental responsibility.

Striiv does this by turning your energy expenditure into a measurable gaming value.  For example, taking 200 steps in two minutes might convert into the development of your virtual world in the company’s fantasy game, MyLand. 

Additionally, users’ activity levels can also convert to real donations to charity in the form of a virtual one-person walk-a-thon.  Every step the user takes translates to a real donation made by Striiv and its partners, like Global Giving, to a cause.

So what makes the Striiv device more than just a glorified pedometer?  The company’s TruMotion technology, which uses sensors to determine when you’re doing something like walking, taking the stairs, and more.

The device will retail for $99 when it’s released to the public next month.  Striiv says that it plans to use the new funds from this round to support the launch.

"There is huge potential for health and wellness-related applications, and Striiv's innovative approach puts the company right at the forefront,” said Dr. Ronald Chwang, in a statement.  “By combining sensor technology with social and game mechanics and then adding just the right blend of motivation tools, we believe Striiv will reach mass consumer adoption."


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