News

Carrot Rewards returns – but will the NWT get its money back?


A wellness app that spectacularly collapsed just weeks after signing a major partnership with the NWT government is attempting to make a comeback.

Carrot Rewards launched in the territory to great fanfare in the spring of 2019, offering rewards in return for completion of tasks that helped users toward healthier living.

However, app owner Carrot Insights folded just weeks after the NWT government had launched its partnership. The contract was worth $140,000.

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Since then, the app has been taken over by new owner Optimity, a Toronto-based health and wellness firm.

Last month, Carrot Rewards began enticing former users back by promising them a place on its waiting list for an impending relaunch. Users contacted include some of the 600 or so NWT residents who initially signed up last year.

The NWT government, however, may not give the app a particularly warm welcome back.

Cabin Radio understands the territory is still owed much of the initial sum it invested in last year’s partnership, as so little time elapsed before Carrot Insights shut down.

“We haven’t been contacted by the new company who bought Carrot Rewards,” said Damien Healy, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services.

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“We remain committed to monitoring the bankruptcy process to determine if we can recoup our outstanding investment.”

Jane Wang, chief executive of new owner Optimity, had not by Tuesday morning responded to questions sent at lunchtime on Monday.

More than 300,000 people Canada-wide are understood to be on the reborn app’s waiting list. The app’s former owners had funding agreements with a variety of other jurisdictions, but went under shortly after losing Ontario’s backing.

Last month, the Canadian Press quoted Andreas Souvaliotis – the app’s original founder – as saying a relaunch of Carrot Rewards would take “a Herculean effort.”

Souvaliotis’ company, Carrot Insights, formally entered insolvency proceedings last summer. Documents from July show the company still owed the NWT government $135,000 at the time. In total, the company had debts of more than $11 million when it ceased operations.

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