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Caterpillar: UK-based healthtech picks almost half a million funding and backing from Olympic champion

Caterpillar
Image credits: Caterpillar

Headquartered in Leeds, Caterpillar is a digital rewards app for health promotion, education and behavioural changes. The company has just announced that it picked £450K in funding.

The investment came from Jenson Funding Partners, the venture capital firm that also invested in NeuroCreate, Onoco and others recently. Caterpillar will use the funds to add new features to the app, expand the range of loyalty schemes it offers, and towards other areas of business development.

Furthermore, the rewards platform will be able to reach its goal of helping millions of people live healthier lives.

Caterpillar CEO and founder, Paul Baverstock, said: “Chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity creep up on you and take advantage of the fact that making even minor beneficial lifestyle changes for the long-term is really difficult. This is where Caterpillar can help. We keep our users engaged in positive change through great content and rewards.”

Jeffrey Faustin, Chief Investment Officer at Jenson Funding Partners, said: “Caterpillar is doing really important work: chronic disease is already a major problem for healthcare systems, but many countries, the UK included, have an ageing population. Caterpillar is trying to tackle this challenge with a preventative approach rooted in science. But what’s key is the fact that this isn’t about nagging people. Its reward programmes and loyalty points have a huge consumer appeal. It’s a very savvy solution to a very serious problem.”

Founded by ex-NHS Digital Director

Caterpillar app was founded by ex-NHS Digital Director of Strategic Communications, Paul Baverstock. Caterpillar’s goal is to work in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to help deliver a new era of preventive care.

The Caterpillar app has a network of expert backers from across disciplines, including public health to preventative care to behavioural science. This includes Sheila Mitchell, former Marketing Director at Public Health England; Dr Jason Broch, former Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group; and two-time Olympic gold medallist and public health advocate Alistair Brownlee.

How does Caterpillar work?

The app is built on a SaaS platform and connects to third-party wearables and health apps, including Google Fit and Apple Health. By doing so, Caterpillar lets users set goals and make better choices every day. This lets users automatically receive reward points without having to input their achievements manually.

The app rewards users for physical activity and improved dietary habits, with loyalty points redeemable at popular chains such as Vue Cinemas and online gym class provider Hustle.

Caterpillar creates personalised goals to improve users’ health. It lets users earn points directly to the chosen reward scheme account.

What’s more, Caterpillar lets users earn extra points by completing challenges and challenging others. It lets users encourage their friends, family and colleagues to join and achieve challenges together.

Users can earn as they explore health topics and complete quizzes. They can find unique offers available for them and their community. Also, users can track their progress and rewards as well.

BUILD alumni!

Caterpillar is the first company from BUILD, the Leeds startup incubator, to receive funding. BUILD was set up in collaboration between Leeds City Council and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and supports early-stage purpose-led businesses with a 12-week entrepreneurship and networking programme.

Notably, Leeds is one of the UK’s leading hubs for startups and scaleups. According to reports, Leeds has the third-largest population of high-growth companies in the UK outside of London and is also the UK’s number one location for scaleups outside of the capital.

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “With no less than seven world-leading universities, a brilliant teaching hospital, a deep and broad talent pool, and a supportive business community, Leeds City Region is an ideal place for health tech entrepreneurs like Paul Baverstock and the Caterpillar team to grow their business.”

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