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Fitness app Stepbuck bags angel funding
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Stepbuck Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates an incentive-based fitness app Stepbuck, has raised angel funding, its founders Siddharth Lodha and Rita Makharia told VCCircle.

The capital was raised from Sreekanth Lapala, an entrepreneur and the founder of Dextara Digital, a digital transformation services company focused on building deep functional and technical expertise in Salesforce technologies.

Stepbuck, which was launched last year, will use the funds to develop new features on its platform and for marketing. Part of the funds will also be deployed to launch a renewed subscription model program and for business development purposes.

The startup combines the potential of both fitness and e-commerce into its product. Its platform tracks and records a user's steps and converts them to a virtual currency of sorts called "Stepbucks" at a prescribed ratio. The earned currency is stored in a user's wallet and can be used to purchase coupons, products and services on the e-commerce portal on the app - Stepshop.

Stepbuck also plans to partner with corporates and other businesses to offer its product as a tool to keep their employees healthy and engaged.

"The core idea behind Stepbuck is to motivate users to get fit and we realized that savings or a financial benefit is the best way to encourage people to work harder," the cofounders said.

Lodha also said that the plan going forward is to reward users for all physical activities and all efforts made by its users to become healthy.

"This will be through integration with fitness wearables and a more comprehensive and integrated mobile app," he said.

Lodha, who claims to be a regular distance runner himself, previously worked in the real estate space in Mumbai. Cofounder Makharia leads the tech at Stepbuck and has an experience of 20 years in the IT sector.

"There seems to be great potential for growth and scalability in this domain as more and more people are being health conscious and are willing to spend their money on good apps to stay fit," said the investor, Lapala.

The retail value of the health and wellness market in India was estimated at $8.4 billion in 2018 and this was forecast to reach nearly $16 billion by 2023, according to data firm Statista.

The health and wellness space has also seen a slew of funding in India.

For instance, Cure.fit, founded by Mukesh Bansal (co-founder of Myntra) and former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori, has raised over $400 million in total.

Earlier this week, VCCircle reported that AroLeap Fitness Pvt Ltd, a fitness-focused startup, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round led by Chiratae, Sauce.vc, and Whiteboard Capital.  

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