Founded by Tobias Hoenisch and later joined by Paul Kitti and Evan Grossman, StudyPact aims to motivate the world to study harder. How does it do that? Simple – by putting your money at stake.
For example, a user can set a five-hour study pact per week and for every hour that he misses out, he will lose $5. This $5 per hour stake is set by the user. If the user fulfills the pact, he then gets to earn about $1 per week. The payout per week fluctuates and is based on how much money other users have lost. The higher the user goal, the more he or she can earn.
In other words, StudyPact could also be called a self-crowdfunded motivation platform.
On StudyPact you choose what you want to learn. The StudyPact Android app — which is scheduled to launch soon — is tied with major learning apps like Duolingo, Coursera, and Udemy. The current prototype works only with Anki but has generated positive results from users. Its minimal viable product has so far attracted 162 user sign-ups who clocked up 430 hours of study so far with 83.1 percent of them successfully fulfilling their pact.
The startup is based in Tokyo, Japan. At the recent Pitch to the President event in the Japanese capital, Grossman said that each user on average pays StudyPact $1.50 per week for failing to meet the pact they made. 69 percent of its users are from the US, 21.5 percent from Europe, and the rest from Asia.
A common question from the audience at the pitching event was how StudyPact can actually prevent users from gaming its system. Grossman answered that it actually takes a lot of time and effort to cheat. And because the payout is small, it doesn’t make economical sense for people to do that.
Founder Hoenisch revealed that StudyPact received $20,000 seed investment from Open Network Lab in January this year. The startup will not only make the service available on Android but also on Google Chrome, Firefox, iOS and other platforms.
“I know Paul and Evan now for nearly 2 years, when we won the Kyoto Startup Weekend and have been working together on different ideas ever since,” said Hoenisch. “StudyPact is my passion and I will make it a success,” he added.
(Editing by Steven Millward)