M’sian social running app with virtual marathon challenges


Author’s draft: I’ve already tried a couple of fitness apps, most notably the Nike app for indoor strength training and Zombies, Run! to run outdoors. Despite following the podcasts simulated by the latter’s zombie apocalypse, it has never kept me motivated enough to run, as no one could hold me responsible if I cheated and took a quick walk until the episode ended anyway..

Major sporting events are one of the industries that stopped to stop the spread of COVID-19. Simultaneously, people became more health-conscious and eventually had more time to exercise thanks to the flexibility of WFH.

Aside from workouts at home, jogging and running was a physical activity that was allowed outdoors. But it’s usually a sport that can become lonely and even boring after a while.

With more runners wanting social interactions through sport, interest and adoption in virtual racing peaked. Application of social functioning, BiiB, saw an increase in its user base.

Therefore, we met with its co-founder and CEO, Sheyong Tan, to find out how compromised users have adapted and remained during the global blockades.

Running as a team-based activity

Since us he spoke for the last time at BiiB in 2017, the platform has added more challenges to its application, which is its way of monetizing, to encourage team spirit and cross-border competitions.

For example, his #RUNwithOLYMPIANS allowed people to support our national athletes at the Olympics. Here, teams could choose to sign up for a mysterious Olympian to join the marathon and exactly who would be the secret to the end.

Another event is his Round Country series, which began in 2019 in Malaysia. “It was a phenomenal year as we were able to set a record in Malaysia’s record book as the largest virtual race virtual event in Malaysia,” Sheyong proudly shared.

Since then, they have taken him to Taiwan in 2020, where teams from Macau have also begun to join.

The challenge basically works by getting a community leader to form a team and members must travel a collaborative distance to achieve the minimum goal set by BiiB. The app can track your current activity, regardless of whether you’re in the neighborhood park, stadium, or on the road.

Companions can also get together and run together if they wish (while practicing PCOS) / Image Credit: BiiB

In the Singapore version (Round Singapore Challenge) currently underway, members must run along the island’s coast for a total of 10 rounds collaboratively to achieve the minimum goal.

“For bigger or stronger teams, they can always advance further to reach the Gold level or even compete with other teams in the live ranking to be named one of the best teams in the region,” Sheyong explained.

In addition, BiiB has expanded this event to allow the communities of Malaysia and Macao to join this challenge. Sheyong told us that the pandemic has forced the closure of one of its methods to foster friendly competition and cross-border collaboration.

“This is also part of our experiment to replicate our success in Malaysia in more active and developed countries like Singapore,” he said.

The Round Singapore Challenge initially aimed to incorporate 2,500 participants, but has now registered a total of 4,123 participants from 80 teams. “With the great results we have achieved in Singapore so far, we are now confident of moving forward in other countries as well,” Sheyong shared.

Encourage team spirit forever

Some of the application runners / Image Credit: BiiB

In addition to establishing friendly competition between SEA countries, BiiB has also worked with companies and NGOs to encourage employee participation and raise funds for those most in need.

Locally, LHDN has used the platform to host its employee engagement program to promote health and fitness within its workforce while working remotely. Bukit Jalil Sports School has also used BiiB to interact with its alumni who could team up virtually depending on their graduation years to run with their batch teammates.

In addition, the teams have taken advantage of the Round Singapore Challenge to raise funds for people who need it. One of its ongoing campaigns has so far raised more than RM2,000 for baby in need of reconstructive surgery which affects your skull and implants in your face due to a neurological condition.

“We hope more communities do the same to make this event more impactful,” Sheyong expressed.

Set the path for active and fulfilling lifestyles

Application Screenshots / Image Credit: BiiB

In the future, the BiiB team wants to organize more events that can cater to different groups of people. They include those who want to contribute to charity or those who want to run as a way to be active with a community that can motivate them.

The team is also working on creating a feature in their application that can help organizations easily create internal events to promote active lifestyles in employees.

Sheyong hopes to turn BiiB into an app that will become the world’s largest digital running field, where individuals can represent their communities in global challenges.

Bottom line: With such a high level of emphasis placed on team spirit at BiiB, it is likely that it will push me to keep running / running even when I do it alone, as my data will be saved to the app for all my teammates to see. and call me if I cheated.

  • You can learn more about BiiB here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups we’ve covered here.

Featured Image Credit: Sheyong Tan, co-founder and CEO of BiiB

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