Runna Lands £5M For AI-Powered Run Coach


Runners want tailored training plans in their pocket.

What’s happening: AI-powered run coaching app Runna closed a £5M funding round, adding to past raises totalling ~£3M. Born in London, the app debuted in 2021 and now counts hundreds of thousands of users in ~180 countries.

Switching gears. Runna’s user base includes beginners and ultra athletes alike, but founders Ben Parker and Dom Maskell believe there’s still untapped potential. Speaking to WellToDo, Maskell described plans to integrate health data like HRV, sleep and menstrual cycle, automatically adapting training in the event of an illness or injury.

“We’re growing our AI team to make our plans more personalised. Whilst a coach might be able to study 100 runners a year, we can learn from millions to A/B test different workouts and predict improvements and injuries more accurately than ever before.” 

Why it matters: Scaling up, Runna is targeting the global runner market. Backed by athletes, partnerships with recognised races from the Great North Run to the Los Angeles Marathon underpin its growth strategy.

Of note, Coopah, a British run coaching app which also harnesses AI for bespoke plans, recently became the official training app to the TCS London Marathon.

Takeaway: Running boomed during lockdown, spreading runners’ highs all over the world. But stuck between a pricey coach and cookie-cutter training plans, runners needed an alternative, with Runna and Coopah seeking to fill the gap. Looking ahead, hybrid AI and human coach combos will grow in popularity as personalised plans become the norm.

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