Seattle developer Buster Benson has sold Locavore — a popular mobile application that assists people in their quest to find fresh local foods and nearby farmers’ markets   —  to Local Dirt as part of a cash and equity deal. A former developer, Benson tells GeekWire that he sold the app (one of the top 100 lifestyle apps on the iPhone) because he wanted to spend more time on the new social game that he’s building around health and fitness.

Dubbed Health Month, Benson says that the Web-based game offers a way to turn diet plans and fitness routines into month-long contests. Currently, the game offers 80 personalized elements, including going to the gym, getting enough sleep or eating fresh vegetables.

More than 31,000 people have signed up for the service, and every month between 3,000 to 4,000 people are playing the game. Of those, about 12 percent pay $5 or more to play the game. (Editor’s note: The information on the number of those paying for the service has been corrected).

Benson is in the process of finishing up a round of fundraising for Health Month. And he’s also developing a new HTML5 mobile app, which he says will “be a much simpler, more social, version” of what’s available on the Web site. (Some other exciting things are in the works, but he’s keeping those close to the vest for now).

In terms of Locavore, Benson said that Local Dirt has already taken the mobile app further than what he did with expansion in Canada and a new Android version.

“I’m very happy that it has found a good home with a team that’s really passionate about taking local food and farmer’s market discovery to the next level,” said Benson, who prior to Locavore co-founded the Internet startup Robot Co-op.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Buster on the sale and on the new venture!

  • Marcelo Calbucci

    Congrats Buster!

  • Anonymous

    Something Buster claims above seems fishy.  According to, Healthmonth last recorded 3,707 April monthly visitors.  His claim seems to be that 100% of these monthly visitors are paid?  

    Even if we graciously estimate that say 25% of these monthly visitors are paid, then that would amount to only 926 customers.  Even if Compete is wildly off say 50% then it still amounts to only maybe 667 customers.  

    • Guest

      Who is Compete and how are its viewer numbers accurate down to single digits? “3,707,” “926,” and “667” sound like contrivances and conjecture to me.

    • Tony Wright

      It’s pretty well understood that Compete/Alexa/etc are woefully inaccurate (I’ve seen 10x or more in either direction) for sites with moderate traffic (less than 10M uniques per month).  I just glanced at Compete for a site that I _know_ has 7M+ uniques per month (as in, I’ve seen the analytics account) and it’s showing about 500k per month.
      Compete is not a bad tool to spot competitor growth trends, but using at a tool to call bullshit on numbers you read in an article like this one is kinda silly.

    • Buster Benson

      There was a bit of misinformation in that article (might have been my fault with talking with John).  The percentage referred to the number of people who play per month, not the entire user base. That said, the monthly numbers from are definitely low.

      • johnhcook

        Thanks Buster for the follow-up. I’ve hopefully clarified above in the post. 

      • johnhcook

        Thanks Buster for the follow-up. I’ve hopefully clarified above in the post. 

  • Alicia B.

    This is great for Buster! As someone who works in this health apps space at MeYou Health on our Daily Challenge product (, I have a lot of respect for what Buster has created with Health Month.

    Alicia Benjamin
    Social Media Manager
    MeYou Health 

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