SA employee wellness startup Strove targeting expansion in Europe after UK launch

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South African employee wellness startup Strove is targeting further expansion in Europe after launching in the United Kingdom (UK).

Founded in 2020 by Chris Bruchhausen in partnership with venture builder The Delta, Strove is an activity-based mobile rewards application that empowers organisations to inspire their employees to live a healthy and active life, combatting inactivity, burnout, and chronic stress. 

The platform uses activity-tracking and gamification to incentivise workforces to be their best selves, with rewards coming from over a dozen partner brands, such as Old Khaki, Poetry, Bootlegger Coffee, Mugg & Bean, Dis-Chem, Vida e Caffè, and Engen.

In July of last year, Strove closed a ZAR4 million (US$277,000) seed funding round, led by Launch Africa Ventures, to help it on its road to expansion to the UK, which has just been completed. It is now targeting wider European growth. But how does it work?

On the physical wellbeing side, employees can sync activity tracking wearables and apps such as Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava and Fitbit with their Strove profile. They can then sync any kind of activity, like a run or cycle, and will earn points for each activity that they sync. 

“The points are determined by our points algorithm which looks at a number of different metrics such as heart rate, calories, distance, duration, and age of the employee, and assigns points accordingly. Those points can then be spent on vouchers at any of the merchant partners that we have in the app, some of which include Bootleggers, Vida, PicknPay, and Dis-Chem,” Bruchhausen told Disrupt Africa.

“We are also building a social element into the product. Currently we have company leaderboards that rank the best performers in each organisation across all activity types – everything from number of meditation minutes completed, number of steps covered, distance… We also segment the leaderboards by departments so as to create a bit of competition between the different departments in a company.”

On the mental wellbeing side, meanwhile, Strove rewards employees for syncing meditation activities via their Apple Health or Google Fit integration that they have integrated. 

“We also have a client web application which we make available to key stakeholders at each organisation that is a client of ours. The purpose of the web application is to enable these stakeholders to have aggregated insights into the usage with the product, and the general wellbeing of their organisation over time. They can also use the web app to onboard and offboard employees, or assign them to teams or departments,” said Bruchhausen.

A broader HR element, then, and indeed Strove has a broad vision to become a global employee health and wellbeing application. 

“Some of the larger overarching product roadmap features include virtual mental health support and tele-medicine to name a few,” Bruchhausen said.

International expansion is also a goal, and indeed has already begun in the wake of the funding round. Bruchhausen said Strove has several financial services and technology firms onboard as clients in South Africa, and the startup is active with clients in the UK as of February.

“We will be rolling a product out in the European market in the next two months,” he said.

Strove charges a per employee onboarded per month subscription fee, billed to the company, and has seen decent revenue growth.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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