Bringing in blockchain to fitness, wearable startup Boltt’s Boltt Coin is an app that pays you for your commitment to health.Sindhu Kashyap
Imagine if beyond good health and fitness, you get other rewards for exercising? While a fit body and mind are rewarding, they don’t prove to be enough of an incentive for most of us, who make lofty goals for working out but hang up our running shoes by January 15.
A lack of motivation and drive is a global problem in the health industry. It is to address this that siblings 24-year-old Arnav Kishore and 28-year old Aayushi Jagasia started Boltt Coin app as a part of their wearable brand, Boltt, in Delhi.
Currently a free app that converts steps into digital currency, Boltt Coin tracks your steps through inbuilt phone sensors, then converts the steps into currency, or Boltt Coins. These Boltt Coins can presently be used to shop from a large range of products from the in-app marketplace.
“Research shows that 80 percent of the people dump their activity trackers within a few weeks of use. Boltt is solving this problem by giving them the Boltt Coin app along with the wearables - people can use their Boltt wearables to track steps and use the Boltt Coin app to earn money by walking,” says Aayushi.
Launched in 2015, Boltt specialises in mobile health solutions. Arnav explains that their hardware was differentiated by means of an artificial intelligence-powered health app, which they bundled with different wearable products.
Boltt is a product of parent company Globalite Retail. It was in 2011 that Lalit Kishore, and his daughter, Aayushi--fresh from her post-graduate course at Delhi’s Sri Ram College Of Commerce--came up with the idea of Globalite.
Arnav, on the other hand, being an international tennis player at a young age, has always had a passion to create something futuristic and unique for sports and fitness enthusiasts.
That was the prime reason for Arnav, Aayushi, and their father, Lalit, to launch Globalite.
It was a local competitor to the international shoe brands Nike and Adidas. By 2015, the company was selling close to 7,000 pairs of footwear per day online and made Rs 100 crore in sales. It was then that the siblings realised that health, AI, and wearables were growing big.
They then decided to embed sensors in Globalite footwear. They soon added training apps and a smart band all powered by AI. “The idea was to give the consumer knowledge and updates on his health and fitness activity,” says Aayushi.
The health app connected to the wearable also had a virtual coaching layer that would help people track their health and fitness activity. But they soon realised that people needed more than just some health stats to really work on their daily fitness goals.
While the core designs and technology was built in-house, the wearables and products, both Boltt and Globalite shoes, are developed out of China.
“There has been 36 months of constant learning and evolution for us since inception. As of today, the entire product development including blockchain implementation is complete. We decided to make it fun and gamify the entire process of health and fitness,” says Arnav.
He says while there are many solutions intended to motivate people such as healthcare apps, gym memberships, devices, sensors, etc, none have been adequate to bring about the desired levels of motivation to pursue health.
Thus, the idea of Boltt and Boltt Coin is to leverage the vast possibilities of technology to support people who practise an active lifestyle.
“We have created a social health gamification platform and an entire ecosystem around it that aims to motivate people to maintain their physical activity,” explains Arnav.
Apart from rewarding people with Boltt Coins for taking steps and achieving their health targets, the platform also introduces a gamified social interface that makes physical activity fun and addictive for the users.
The company has different revenue models. One is through Boltt wearables, where the products are priced from Rs 1,700 onwards. Boltt has both an online and offline presence.
The team is also looking at paid subscriptions for the Boltt Coin app. There are various levels on the app, the first one being free, and thereafter each level has a different subscription amount, and each level entitles the user to encash more Boltt Coins than the previous level.
The team is also looking at commission fees on m-commerce transactions for multiple retailers selling on the app.