The StepSetGo Story and Why We Had To Launch StepSetGo PRO

    We started our journey of motivating Indians to get fitter in January 2019 and it has been an amazing one, to say the least. The SSG family recently crossed one crore members, making StepSetGo one of India’s most popular fitness apps.

    While rewards continue to motivate us, our ultimate aim is to make fitness accessible to everyone while making it fun, engaging & social.

    In this article, we take you through the story that led us to introduce StepSetGo PRO (our premium subscription).

    Here is StepSetGo’s journey through time:


    The model was simple back then – get members to track their fitness progress, earn money through ads, and use a fixed portion of that money to fund rewards. We also collaborated with new and exciting brands in India to bring the best deals on the market.

    We were growing quickly, and users were getting rewarded with products they loved.

    Everyone was happy! 

    March 2020

    And out of nowhere, COVID-19 hit.

    Our revenue from ads dropped by 60-70% overnight (as was the case across the industry). Suddenly we didn’t have the money to fund the rewards we were giving out.

    So, we switched to funding our free product rewards through brand partnerships.

    Brands would give us free products to reward members, and we would provide them with visibility and engagement in exchange. We also gave out discount coupons that drove revenue for the brands. But because the brands paid in free products instead of money, StepSetGo made no revenue, which was fine because at least our members got rewards.

    StepSetGo – Happy

    Brands – Happy

    Users – Not happy 🙁

    We kept getting feedback that the Bazaar had nothing interesting.

    So we collaborated with more brands to increase the variety of rewards. In fact, we had more than 100 brand partners giving out free products worth ₹50 lakhs every month.

    October 2020

    The lockdown restrictions were slowly easing up but markets were still recovering. Our ad revenue had started improving, but we were still making only 50-60% of what we did earlier.  Not great, but much better.

    So, we started pumping in more rewards with a cut of the ad money. 

    StepSetGo – Happy

    Users – Happier than before

    Brands – Happy! 🙂

    January 2021

    Google Ads blocked our account – Heart attack mode ON.

    In one night, revenue from ads dropped by 90%.
    Imagine panic bells, alarms, and red lights flashing.

    We worked with Google for two whole months to try and reverse it. All throughout, our ads remained blocked and we made no money.
    They only provided one solution: Remove rewards from the app to get Google Ads back.

    Oh. My. God.

    StepSetGo – Devastated 🙁

    Brands – Happy

    Users – Unhappy 🙁

    March 2021

    We gave up on Google and set up partnerships with EIGHT other alternatives, but our revenue was never the same. To this day, we only make 20% of the revenue we did back then.

    Due to this massive drop, our budget for rewards became limited. We started showing more ads because we had to. Our members didn’t love it, but we had to survive and continue.

    But it also became clear that depending on ads for revenue was not a stable way ahead.

    StepSetGo – Unhappy

    Brands – Happy

    Users – Unhappy


    We tried many different things – selling products in the shop, selling products and medals through challenges, offering health insurance, etc.

    We even built our own ad server and sales team to directly get ads! But this didn’t work well either – we were too small for the large brands, and our team was not large enough to keep getting really small advertisers.

    Our aim was to keep rewards free and open to all and try to make money in other ways from users based on their interests. In fact, we set up 1,000 products across 10 categories in our Bazaar with 300 brand partners! It is one of our most significant operational achievements to date.

    We spent a year on it, but it did not sell enough – not even enough to pay for the team that was maintaining it.

    StepSetGo – Unhappy

    Brands – Unhappy

    Users – Unhappy


    Considering we had run out of options, we had to build a way to make money from users who paid for StepSetGo itself and use that money to pay for the iPhone and other premium rewards.

    And so we launched StepSetGo PRO

    The idea is that we charge users for a premium experience of StepSetGo, while we keep adding great features to it – including premium rewards like the iPhone!

    PRO gives our users the following benefits:

    • Access to win Premium Rewards
    • 2x coins EVERYWHERE.
    • No Ads
    • All Daily Rewards in 1 click.
    • Better prices on every product in the Bazaar.
    • Premium challenges that help you accomplish personal fitness goals (weight loss, marathon training, etc.)
    • Fitness Leagues – just launched

    The road ahead

    Throughout our journey, we focused so much on evolving and improving rewards that we didn’t pay enough attention to our core mission – to motivate our members to get fitter and lead healthier lives.

    Moving forward, we will focus on-

    • Improving and adding health and fitness tracking features
    • Providing deeper insights and reports about health and fitness
    • Tracking more activities beyond walking, running, and cycling
    • Improving syncing with Fitness Trackers

    And, of course, we shall keep improving Fitness Leagues, which is the new way of getting rewards on StepSetGo.

    Sorry for this really long article, but we felt an in-depth explanation was necessary based on the priceless feedback and questions we got from our members.

    In case you have any feedback, suggestions, or criticisms, please email us at [email protected].
    We love hearing from you guys!

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