South African employee wellness startup Strove has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Japanese VC firm Lifetime Ventures to help it build out its platform.
Founded in 2020 by Chris Bruchhausen in partnership with venture builder The Delta, Strove is an activity-based mobile rewards application that empowers organisations to inspire their employees to live a healthy and active life, combatting inactivity, burnout, and chronic stress. 
The platform uses activity-tracking and gamification to incentivise workforces to be their best selves, with rewards coming from over a dozen partner brands, such as Old Khaki, Poetry, Bootlegger Coffee, Mugg & Bean, Dis-Chem, Vida e Caffè, and Engen.
In July of last year, Strove closed a ZAR4 million (US$277,000) seed funding round, and it launched in the UK in April. It has now raised a new funding round from Japanese VC fund Lifetime Ventures to speed up software development to further develop its holistic wellness platform. 
“We are excited to have closed our funding round in a challenging funding environment. This raise allows us to further develop our product and service offering as we strive towards our mission of improving the holistic wellbeing of employees around the world,” said Bruchhausen.
Strove is planning a substantial upgrade to its mental health offering, with richer content, cognitive behaviour therapy courses, and an in-app coaching feature. Other updates include launching more activity tracking integrations, incorporating a recommendation engine to help personalise wellbeing guidance, and continuous usability upgrades.
“COVID-19 has highlighted deteriorating employee wellbeing and a strong need for holistic wellbeing programmes. We see a global corporate future where most companies provide group-based employee wellbeing programmes as part of holistic employee benefits to support employees from the prevention phase. With strong C-level and execution to date, we know Strove will be a leading player in this market,” said Koshu Kunii, general partner of Lifetime Ventures.
Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.
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