A triathlete in his spare time, the professional journalist is one of the approximately 275,000 Belgians who connect to WeWard daily. “Since I downloaded it (for free, Editor’s note) on my smartphone, I have been trying to reach 20,000 steps per day, the maximum threshold set by the application”. And this, in order to receive the 25 wards available every day on the site. “Once I have collected 3,000 wards, I can then request a transfer of 20 euros to my bank account”, continues Augustin, happy to supplement (a little) his income “so easily”.
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At the base of this initiative launched in 2019 alongside Yves Benchimol and Nicolas Hardy, Tanguy De La Villegeorges relishes the success of WeWard. “The application quickly met its audience. The message is so simple – move to earn money – and word of mouth has been so effective that we didn’t have to do much advertising,” smiles the data expert of the French trio.
With more than 20 million users worldwide “nearly half of whom activate every month”, WeWard ensures that it increases the walking time of its subscribers by 25% on average. Faithful people titillated by the rewards but not only… “Obviously, the youngest are often more attracted by the money they can earn, but we realized that this was not the only source motivation of our users. The older they get, the more they like the idea of walking a little more each day. For them, WeWard therefore becomes a kind of daily challenge,” underlines Tanguy De La Villegeorges. What Augustine confirms. “At the end of the day, when I see that I still have 6,000 steps left to reach 20,000 steps, I no longer hesitate to go out to cover 4 more kilometers. Since I got the app, I walk a little more than before. ”
We form partnerships with brands who finance our activity.
An application that promotes well-being, an ever-growing community, additional challenges that encourage the discovery of the region and 600,000 tons of CO² saved per year: WeWard appeals all over the world – “Our next challenge is to get people moving Americans in 2024” – and gives ideas to other start-ups.
“We were alone in the market for a long time. We did have an English competitor (Sweatcoin, Editor’s note) but we quickly gained the upper hand,” says Tanguy De La Villegeorges. “To tell the truth, few people believed in our project. It was only after the health crisis that other applications similar to ours emerged. ” Like winwalk which offers gift cards to its users.
“My cousin also uses other applications that work on the same model as WeWard,” comments Augustin. “The difference is that they do not pay money directly but they offer to activate promotions for smartphones, for example. So it all depends on what you’re trying to gain.”
10 million euros redistributed to WeWard subscribers
One question remains: how does WeWard finance its rewards? “We form partnerships with brands generally oriented around sport or well-being,” summarizes the company. More concretely, “companies pay us money so that we can imagine challenges centered on their brand”. Example ? Users receive additional wards if they visit a particular sporting goods store or visit a particular sneaker store. “But that almost doesn’t exist in Belgium,” explains Augustin. “With us, we can especially earn additional points by going to tourist places (800 in total, Editor’s note) such as parks or museums. But it stops there…” Which means that it is mainly the partnerships established in France, WeWard’s main market, which also finance the rewards across Quiévrain.
Since 2019, the French start-up, leader in this particular market, has already offered more than 10 million euros to its users and 700,000 euros to associations.
Charleroi, the Walloon city where residents walk the most
According to figures communicated by Tanguy De La Villegeorges, 750,000 Belgians have downloaded WeWard over the last four years. And among them, around 275,000 use it daily.
“The Belgian walks 6,400 steps per day on average. It’s approximately the same as in France,” notes the co-founder of the platform. “On the other hand, other Europeans move a lot more, like the Spanish for whom we record almost 1,000 more daily steps.”
In Belgium, Brussels is where WeWard users walk most often. In the capital, the average number of steps taken is close to 6,590 steps. In comparison, Carole users of the application take nearly 6,000 steps daily compared to 5,900 in Namur, 5,850 in Liège, 5,830 in Mons and 5,800 in La Louvière.