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Pact (formerly GymPact) is a mobile application that enables users to set fitness goals, then rewards them for sticking with them through financial incentives. Established by Yifan Zhang, Geoff Oberhofer, and Rajil Kapoor in 2011, it aims to use financial rewards as motivation to get people to exercise regularly.
Pact came about after Harvard Business School student Zhang observed her classmates were willing to pay significant sums of money for fitness classes but often failed to attend due to time constraints. Zhang saw an opportunity in the market for an app that could incentivize regular exercise by providing financial incentives.
GymPact was initially released by its founders with only fitness goals in mind; however, in 2014, it was rebranded and expanded to cover other health-related goals, such as eating fruits and vegetables or tracking food intake.
Pact operates using an innovative model that enables users to pledge commitment to specific fitness or health-related goals, with pledges of payment if they fall short. If users achieve their goals successfully, however, they receive cash rewards from users who could not achieve them themselves - of which 10-30% goes back into Pact, depending on your success rate.
Pact has quickly gained global acceptance since its debut, amassing millions of users around the globe. Receiving funding from Khosla Ventures, CRV, and Social Capital, as well as featuring in publications like The New York Times, Forbes, and Wall Street Journal, is a testament to this app's incredible growth.
Pact's success demonstrates the effectiveness of financial incentives as an inducement to make lifestyle changes for the better. As more individuals recognize the advantages of regular exercise and healthy eating habits, apps like Pact may become even more widely adopted.
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