Khosla-backed fitness startup Pact shuts down

By Jonah Comstock
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Pact, the startup that incentivized users to healthy behaviors by getting them to essentially bet money on their own adherence, has shut down, according to an email the company sent out to its users on Friday.  The company will pay out its final rewards to users on July 11th and will continue supporting users until the end of August.

“Thanks for choosing Pact - we hope it has helped you live a healthier lifestyle, and been that kick you need to get off the couch on rainy days,” the company wrote in its email. “Sadly, after much discussion, we have decided to shut Pact down.”

Founded by Geoff Oberhofer and Yifan Zhang towards the end of 2011, Pact, originally known as GymPact, aimed to help keep users accountable to their fitness goals. Initially, the app tracked one behavior — going to the gym — using GPS for accountability.

When users signed up for GymPact, they gave the company their credit card information and chose an amount of money that they would have to pay if they missed their workout goal for the week. If the user achieved their goal instead, GymPact would pay them -- divvying up the money made off of the slackers. The company tracked whether the user really went by requiring them to check in with their phone's GPS.

In 2014, the company took on its new name and raised $1.5 million in a round led by Khosla Ventures and PayPal alum Max Levchin, bringing the company’s total funding to $2.5 million. At that point, Pact added two other pact options, one for eating more vegetables and one for tracking meals with MyFitnessPal. Pact also eventually added GPS tracking for workouts outside the gym as well.

It’s not clear exactly what led the company to shut down, or if any of the company's assets are being sold. We’ve reached out to the team for comment and will update if we hear back.

“While we are sad that we will no longer be able to help our users get healthy, we are also thankful to have had such a passionate, supportive community throughout the years. Ultimately, while we hope that our incentives motivated you, it was each of you that snapped veggie photos, typed food logs, and went on runs. It’s amazing that together, you completed over 40 million healthy activities during our 5 years of existence. We are proud of what you have accomplished, and you should be too,” the team wrote.

According to LinkedIn, Zhang has already moved on, starting a new startup called Loftium in January. Loftium is a complete departure from the fitness space. It’s a real estate startup that helps users pay the down payment on a new home in exchange for them listing a spare room on AirBNB for the first few years of home ownership.