If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling TikTok or picking up your phone every time you hear a notification ping, you might want to take this new app for a spin.
Roots, launched by Atlanta-based entrepreneur Clint Jarvis, looks to help users set more intentional boundaries when it comes to phone usage. The app is designed to be an “approachable, friendly, and encouraging” way for users to start limiting “regrettable screen time,” Jarvis told Hypepotamus.
The goal is to help users “live a balanced life in a digital world.”
The app provides a Balance Score that aggregates device usage, number of pickups, notifications, as well as what users are doing offline and away from a phone to give a more holistic picture about a user’s relationship with their phone.
Users can also set intentions and digital downtimes within the app for a more personalized experience.
That can be crucial for the more than half of Americans who say they are addicted to their phones and pick up their device hundreds of times a day. While Gen Zs and Millennials are natural target customers, Jarvis said that Baby Boomers who spend a large majority of their time on social media can also benefit from the app.
Behind A Mental Health Tech Pivot
Jarvis initially launched Roots early in 2022 as a nature-based mindfulness app that encouraged users to spend more time outside. While the app got some early traction, Jarvis told Hypepotamus that they wanted to get down to the root cause (pun intended) of why users struggled with mindfulness.
“Nature and time outside is still super important, but the real pressing issue is that most of us are chemically addicted to our devices,” he said.
That was a key learning the team took away from joining VF Corp Venture Studio, a Colorado-based studio focused on outdoor and active wellness businesses. The Roots team joined the studio last fall and spent the time doing customer discovery learning about digital consumption habits.
The Roots app went through a private beta earlier this year and worked out some of the bugs that came with the new iOS screen time API.
The app, now available in the App Store, has a monthly and annual subscription option for users.
Roots, which is currently made up of four team members spread across the globe, has been busy growing its cap table. Roots raised a $400,000 pre-seed round earlier this year from Wildwood Ventures, a Denver-based VC firm. Jarvis told Hypepotamus that the team will look to bring on a few more strategic angel investors to help the app grow.