As the world’s obsession with health shows no signs of abating, two smart guys have created an app that combines two of the most lucrative sectors: fitness and gaming. A cross between Forge of Empires and Strava, the app hopes to bridge the gap and attract people from both — and the project is now crowdfunding on Crowdcube.

The idea is simple: players compete to own the most territory in their neighbourhood by physically running around it. Creators Ben Barker and Sam Hill have taken the best bits from free-to-play gaming and fitness trackers, and brought them together to make “an addictive play experience for recreational runners and gamers alike.”

They said: “we saw that the fitness app market was largely limited to counting calories and measuring miles. The growing mobile gaming market, on the other hand, suggested far more exciting opportunities to motivate and reward existing and aspiring runners.”

Barker and Hill first met at Goldsmiths university in London, and have since worked together on a number of projects including clients such as Microsoft, The Houses of Parliament, Marks & Spencer and TEDx.

Run An Empire is a ‘free-to-play’ game, meaning anyone can download and get involved. In terms of monetisation, the app will make money from an in-game ‘premium currency’ – a common monetisation method, used by apps such as Candy Crush. Players will be able to use ‘gems’ to buy more running time, cosmetic items and other in-game bonuses, and the idea seems popular – 40% of the 1,825 Kickstarter backers opted to purchase a cosmetic reward (starting at £12) during the introductory campaign. The creators also plan to use sponsorship and advertising to enhance revenue.

What’s more, the market that the app will be entering is a lucrative one; the mobile gaming market alone is worth $30 billion, with similar game Clash of Clans bringing in around $5 million per day. Health apps are also leading the way on smartphones, with 8% of smartphone users – equivalent to 1.58 billion people – having downloaded a health-related app at some point, according to a report from HIMSS Europe. The app’s target market is niche, but large – there are about 50 million recreational runners in Europe as well as 65 million in the US.

Run An Empire are looking for an investment on Crowdcube of £70,000, in exchange for 5.51 percent equity. Within 3 years, the creators project monthly revenue in excess of £1 million and a valuation in excess of £50 million, as well as hoping to be acquired by a fitness brand or games publisher within 3-5 years as other comparable apps have.

For further information, visit Run An Empire’s funding page on Crowdcube.

Miranda Wadham on 24/11/2015
Previous articleYellen defends decision to keep US rates low
Next articleLondon IBIS Hotel Investment