RALEIGH – JouleBug, founded by Triangle-based serial entrepreneur Grant Williard, has been acquired by Carimus, an organization with dual headquarters locations in Raleigh and Boulder, Colorado.

Carimus merged with Raleigh’s Everest Agency three years ago

JouleBug built a mobile app that employs gamification techniques to boost the health and wellness of its more than 100,000 individual users and the employees of its enterprise clients and to drive societal change.

“Impact is at the heart of our business, by bringing JouleBug into Carimus, we are able to realize that vision and deliver authentic ecological and social impact experiences to our customers and their employees,” said Tony Pease, the CEO of Carimus, in a statement. “We are very excited to have the JouleBug team and technology join the Carimus Family.”

The JouleBug mobile application is used by enterprise clients to enable employees the use of a private social network where users post content that corresponds to the completion of certain actions, including actions that promote civic engagement, sustainability, wellness, or personal growth.  The company was founded in 2009 by Williard, and it originally developed a prototype for an iPhone application that would control home or office appliances remotely, then quickly pivoted when the team realized that SmartHome technology would be a highly competitive space.

The pivot led to a new direction, and the company and its small team turned attention to spurring motivation in individuals to conserve energy and execute small, but highly repeatable habits, thus driving future impact through the aggregation of marginal gains and a shift in individual behavior.

Williard told WRAL TechWire in 2012 that he was seeking to build a company that would give individuals and corporations the tools to understand the impact of their actions and behaviors, then change those actions in a way that would benefit people individually but also society at large.

Joulebug turns going green into cost-saving game

“We have sustainability choices all day long, but too often, they’re not made consciously,” said Williard at that time.  “They’re in public, but it’s still a private decision. Rewarding those times when we do the right thing creates an incentive to keep it up, and sharing creates motivation for others to do the same thing.”

Today, the company’s application offers hundreds of actions, and users who complete those listed or the challenges offered earn points, badges, and trophies, as well as compete to win company-sponsored prizes.

Williard founded I-Cubed (Navisware) in 1984, and hired WRAL TechWire contributor Donald Thompson to head the company as president and CEO in 2005, during a process when Williard also sold the majority of the firm’s technology to Adobe and joined Adobe as a group product manager.  Thompson would head the company through its acquisition by KPIT in April 2014 for a deal worth as much as $24 million, then spin out a digital marketing firm.

Williard and Thompson were featured guests on the first episode in a podcast series by the Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast in April 2020, discussing their history and the concept of privilege, among other topics.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Carimus could not be reached for comment.