Four years after launching, the Canadian wellness platform Carrot Rewards announced that it will shut down its app-based service due to lack of investment.
“It breaks our hearts to be saying farewell to you as we have closed down the Carrot Rewards app,” Andrea Soulvaliotis, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Carrot Insights, wrote in a statement posted on Carrot Rewards’ website last Wednesday. “Just like so many other young start-up ventures, our beautiful Carrot needed investment funding to keep running — and, even though we gave it our all, our funds eventually ran out and we could no longer be in business.”
Not to be confused with the digital smoking cessation program or snarky weight loss app with a similar name, the Carrot Rewards app allowed registered users to log their footsteps or complete health surveys to earn points that could be redeemed for Petro Points, Aeroplan Miles and other rewards programs. The app was available to those living in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario.
The company had enjoyed a number of partnerships in its time, having most recently announced a collaboration with The Lung Association - Ontario and Boehringer Ingerlheim Canada for a COPD-focused initiative. It also launched a paid-tier membership called Carrot Plus in November that accelerated the rate at which users would earn their activity rewards.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
Carrot Rewards had registered more than 1 million Canadian users to its fitness and education rewards service prior to Friday’s announcement. Active or not, these users will have to look elsewhere for their fitness motivation, although Soulvaliotis noted in his letter that any point rewards that have been processed will remain in their possession.
THE BROADER TREND
Not every digital wellness service is destined for success. Just a few months ago, another wellness company, Arivale, shut down its consumer operations, while Pact, another startup incentivized healthy behaviors by having users bet on their own adherence, closed its doors back in 2017.
Meanwhile, a number of major payers and consumer tech giants are betting on wearable-driven fitness programs for results. These include Aetna’s Attain program and UnitedHealthcare’s Motion program, both of which leverage custom apps on the Apple Watch.
ON THE RECORD
“Just over four years ago, we came up with a beautiful idea on how to inspire many more Canadians to live healthier lives. Since then, a small but mighty team has worked tirelessly to bring that dream to life. It worked incredibly well — over a million Canadians are now living better and healthier each day because of Carrot,” Soulvaliotis wrote. “Thanks for letting us play a small part in your health and wellness journey.”