Dom Maskell, left, and Ben Parker, founders of fitness app Runna (Image: Runna)
A COACHING app for runners which was founded by two friends at the University of Southampton has raised £1.9m after winning backing from a host of celebrity athletes.
Runna has impressed investors including two-time world record holder and former Made In Chelsea star Joshua Patterson, as well as British Olympic marathon runner Stephanie Davis and Irish rugby player Gregory O’Shea.
Designed by best friends Dom Maskell and Ben Parker, Runna is a personalized coaching app aimed at changing the way people train. It uses technology combined with real-world conditioning, running, and strengthening plans and workouts from top trainers, customizing each user’s experience based on their abilities, goals, and schedule.
He attracted early support from Joshua Patterson.
Dom Maskell said, “Everyone at Runna is beyond thrilled with the progress made in such a short time, and we have our users and investors to thank for their continued support. We are committed to spreading the benefits of running to as many people as possible by making it as accessible as possible to people of all backgrounds, body types and fitness levels.
“The support from Joshua Patterson, Gregory O’Shea and Stephanie Davis, among many others, is a huge endorsement and proof that physically fit athletes also support our approach and attitude to running. We have looking forward to continuing to grow our community and meeting more great people in 2023.”
The company raised £650,000 in pre-seed funding in late 2021 and early 2022, including investment from Stephanie Davis.
Its latest investment round was led by Eka Ventures and came from various angel investors and athletes, including Gary O’Shea, bringing total funding to date to £2.55m.
The funding will be used to develop Runna’s product in the UK and expand into the US market in 2023.
Runna aims to meet the needs of anyone needing a free “couch 5k” training plan to those looking to train for a marathon or progress to marathon and ultramarathon plans from several days.
The app currently syncs with Apple, COROS and Garmin watches and can be downloaded for free through the Apple Store and Google Play.
The investment round was led by Jon Coker, founding partner of Eka Ventures, who has also led investments in brands such as Bloom & Wild, Interactive Investor and Gousto.