Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Virtual race platform Racelink to expand to more charities

Virtual race platform Racelink to expand to more charities

Six to Start, creators of the Racelink ‘virtual races’ platform for charity fundraising, have begun an equity crowd-investing campaign to develop the platform further.

Racelink launched in January 2017 with races from Macmillan Cancer Support and the British Science Association. Other charities are likely to use it for races later this year.

London-based Six to Start, backed by Nesta, are creators of immersive health and fitness apps, including the world’s most popular fitness game for smartphones, Zombies, Run! (2015). This achieved over 3m downloads and 250k monthly active users, with over 30m km in runs logged.

From this the company developed Virtual Races, which have attracted over 15,000 entrants and generated over £600,000 in revenue.


The virtual races platform Racelink that developed from these products allows charities to create GPS-based, immersive audio-enhanced walking and running , accessible to anyone in the world.

In the “Run the Solar System” race for the British Science Association, thousands of runners worldwide raced from the Sun to Neptune in 10k blocks with audio commentary by Dallas Campbell.

In the “Spy Virtual Race” for Macmillan Cancer Support, entrants raced against time to save the world.

Participants can use the platform to run at a location and time of their choosing. Racelink is therefore more accessible than traditional races, and “far faster for brands and charities to organise”. The platform includes the option to integrate services such as shipping race T-shirts and medals worldwide.

Racelink is available as an app for iPhone and Android.

Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the British Science Association, said: “We’re really excited about Run the Solar System as a way of reaching people who might not ordinarily engage with science but are interested in sports and running. It also provides a fun physical activity for science and space fans looking for a New Year fitness boost.”

Zombies, Run! screen

Zombies, Run! is the world’s most popular fitness game for smartphones.

Past success

Six to Start already has a successful crowdfunding track-record, as it has grown and developed new products.

• September 2011: Zombies, Run! Kickstarter, $72,627 raised from 3,464 backers

• September 2016: Board Game Kickstarter, £113,554 from 2,176 backers

Its current crowd-investing campaign on Crowdcube it is seeking £400,000. This will help it achieve the following:

• Mid 2017: Brand new Zombies, Run! 5k Training

• Apr 2017: Increase autonomy of Racelink & improve UI

• July 2018: Launch self-service platform allowing anyone to run virtual races


Adrian Hon

Adrian Hon – applying lessons from Zombie, Run! to apply them to virtual events for charities


Adrian Hon, CEO of Six to Start, explained: “Races are great motivation to get fit, and with Racelink, we’ve made them more fun and accessible than ever. We’ve taken what we’ve learned from Zombies, Run! and made it easy for the biggest and smallest charities in the world to run their own races.

“Racelink can do everything from raising money for good causes, to helping the charity engage their audiences in a healthy way. We’re already working with some of the biggest organisations in the world, and we have much more in store.” 


Running stats

According to Six to Start:

• Running is the most popular form of exercise in the world

• In the UK, 3 million adults run once per month, with 800,000 taking part in marathons, half-marathons, and triathlons

• In the US, 19 million people completed running events in 2014 – a 40% increase since 2010.


WATCH: Six to Start Crowdcube pitch video


Six to Start Crowdcube Pitch Video – Final from Six to Start on Vimeo.



Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.

Before you go…

Let us keep you up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy policy]
" />