This Leeds-based startup is rewarding healthy lifestyle with loyalty points, one step at a time

Caterpillar has received £450,000 for its free-to-use app which tracks physical activity via wearables and health apps and is backed by behavioural science experts
This Leeds-based startup is rewarding healthy lifestyle with loyalty points, one step at a time

The UK government recently published its policy paper, Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care, focusing on preventative care at the centre of NHS strategy. Betting big on the preventive care segment, UK-based digital rewards app for health promotion Caterpillar has raised £450,000 in funding.

The round saw the participation of investors, including Jenson Funding Partners. The health tech company will use the funds to add new features to the app, expand the range of loyalty schemes it offers, and for other areas of business development.

Founded by ex-NHS digital director of strategic communications, Paul Baverstock, the app draws on behavioural science. It rewards users for physical activity and improved dietary habits, with loyalty points redeemable at popular chains such as Vue Cinemas and online gym class provider Hustle.

It is built on a SaaS platform and connects to third-party wearables and health apps, such as Google Fit and Apple Health. This lets users automatically accrue reward points without having to input their achievements manually.

Talking about how the platform uses rewards-based nudges to help people make healthy life changes, Paul Baverstock, CEO and founder, Caterpillar said: “Chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity creep up on you and take advantage of the fact that making even minor beneficial lifestyle changes for the long-term is really difficult. This is where we come in. We use behavioural science and rewards-based nudges to help people make healthy life changes that stick and to help prevent the onset of expensive to treat avoidable ill health.”

The app has a network of expert backers from a variety of disciplines, from public health to preventative care to behavioural science.

Jeffrey Faustin, chief investment officer, Jenson Funding Partners, added: “Chronic disease is already a major problem for healthcare systems, but many countries, including the U.K. have an ageing population. This means the issue is only going to get worse. Caterpillar is trying to tackle this challenge with a preventative approach rooted in science. But what’s key is the fact that this isn’t about nagging people. Its reward programmes and loyalty points have a huge consumer appeal. It’s a very savvy solution to a very serious problem.”

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