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The team behind runna, the world’s #1 rated personalised running coaching app that launched in 2021, has closed its latest venture capital round having raised £5 million.
After early backing from ultra-athlete and double-world record holder Joshua Patterson, Runna (RunBuddy at the time) raised an initial £485,000 via crowdfunding in late 2021/early 2022, with 303 of their earliest customers owning part of the app as well as British Olympic Marathon runner Steph Davis. The team shortly after went on to raise an additional £2.25 million led by Eka Ventures and with a variety of angel investors and top-level athletes, including Olympic Triathletes Alex Yee and Beth Potter, and Irish rugby union player Greg O’Shea. Both Beth Potter and Steph Davis also joined the coaching team.
The latest investment round totalled £5 million and was led by JamJar, the innocent drinks founders’ venture capital fund who have previously invested in What3Words and Deliveroo among others, with participation from Eka Ventures (Jon Coker, one of the founding partners, has previously invested in the likes of Bloom & Wild and Gousto), Venrex (who have invested in Revolut and Tala, to name but a few) and Creator Ventures (who have invested in the likes of Eleven Labs and Wild). The latest investment round brings the total funds raised since 2021 to more than £8 million.
Runna was founded by Dom Maskell and Ben Parker – two University best friends with a dream of sharing their love of running. The coaching app uses advanced technology combined with real-world running and strength and conditioning plans and workouts from top running coaches to personalise every user’s experience based on their ability, goals and schedule.
Anything and everything that everyday runners might need is available on the app, from free ‘couch to 5k’ training plans, to personalised plans for those looking to run a marathon or even work up to a multi-day ultramarathon. The app also features a multitude of product functionality, including smart treadmill control, live Apple Watch coaching and Garmin, Fitbit and COROS integrations.
Used in over 180 countries, Runna now has over hundreds of thousands of users, which – thanks to the latest investment round – can be used to develop and train sophisticated coaching algorithms with the incorporation of AI. Runna has also partnered with some of the largest races in the UK and beyond, from the AJ Bell Great North Run to the Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS.
Ben Parker, Co-Founder and Head Coach of runna, commented: “I felt a huge sense of privilege to get to work with up to 40 private clients at a time before launching Runna, helping them to be healthier and happier. Now having been able to build a service to deliver a better experience, at a tenth of the price, to over 50 thousand people is hard to get my head around.
“What makes us that much more excited is the fact that we’re only just getting started. Runna today is only 20% of the experience that we’ll be delivering to our Runnas with all the product features we have in mind, making this fundraise so pivotal so we can bring these revolutionary ideas to market that much faster!”
Dom Maskell, Co-Founder and CEO ofrunna, continued: “It’s been an amazing few years for us all at Runna and we’re incredibly thrilled to have raised such a phenomenal amount of money in our latest investment round. All we’ve ever wanted to do is spread the benefits of running to as many people as possible, while making running as accessible as possible to all, regardless of background, body type or fitness level.
“To have JamJar lead the investment round was something we could only dream of, and it’s great that we have the backing of such well-known venture capital firms, as well as such well-known athletes.
“The funds raised previously have allowed us to hire amazing talent, invest in the app and the product offering, and partner with some of the biggest race organisers in the UK and the world. We’re excited to be able to continue to invest further into the product offering, making Runna an even better experience for our users, affiliates and partners – making training even more accessible, while having a positive impact on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.”