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Fitness app Sweatcoin secures funding

FRANKFURT: Sweatcoin, a free smartphone app that pays people to be physically active, said on Wednesday it has secured its first round of institutional funding after topping download charts in Britain and the United States.

The fitness app pays digital "sweatcoins" for how many steps users take daily as measured on their smartphones.

They can be exchanged for fitness-related products and services and, say its developers, could one day be traded like money or even cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

But most users just prize the virtual coins for the psychological boost they get from tracking their daily exercise.

"It is the emotional element that makes people engage with Sweatcoin on a daily basis and open us three times a day," Mr Oleg Fomenko, the company's co-founder, said.

The company said it had completed a US$5.7-million (S$7.5-million) initial "seed stage" round of financing from Silicon Valley and European investors including Goodwater Capital, Greylock Partners' Discovery Fund and Seedcamp.

It first funded itself by collecting US$600,000 from angel investors. - REUTERS

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