18. Runa

Company: Runa

Founder: Aron Alexander

Website: https://runa.io/



About Runa


Runa is a digital value infrastructure that enables individuals and businesses to pay and get paid by anyone, anywhere, instantly. Runa’s first-of-its-kind payment rail unlocks all forms of digital value – from fractional shares and gift cards to cryptocurrencies and NFTs – seamlessly facilitating instant B2C global payouts and C2B payments regardless of the asset category being used, free of charge for the sender and the recipient.

Runa sets out to solve a number of pain points:

Firstly, although there has been significant innovation in the payments industry, the B2C payouts market remains largely underserved by existing payment mechanisms, especially when it comes to low-volume, high-velocity payouts to customers or employees. Many businesses need to transfer lots of small sums to a large number of individuals, whether paying gig economy workers for their services or giving cashback or refunds to customers, and existing solutions are cumbersome, costly, and difficult to operate across multiple geographies. The Runa infrastructure saves money for businesses and is significantly more versatile than traditional payout methods: checks, ACH payments, wire transfers, and Push-to-Card payments

Additionally, different forms of digital assets have historically operated within siloed, closed-loop ecosystems. People purchased or were given gift cards, airline miles, or rewards points associated with a particular brand, which could only be redeemed at one particular retailer – a highly inflexible model. It is now increasingly commonplace for people to possess and store various forms of digital assets, but it is much more difficult to spend them as they see fit. Runa helps people use the digital assets they own where and how they want, allowing them to spend their digital value more flexibly.

Runa creates a win-win scenario for businesses and consumers alike: businesses of all sizes can create and share digital value and generate more revenue for their own brands, while consumers can access payouts that help them purchase the products they want, when they want them.

Runa, headquartered in London, was previously known as WeGift, which was founded in 2016 with the goal of fundamentally transforming how digital value, in the form of gift cards, is sent and spent by organizations, individuals, and merchants. Since then, the company has sent over 22.5M gift cards across 30 countries and 18 currencies. In March 2023, WeGift relaunched as Runa to apply the company’s expertise in the gift card space to encompass all forms of digital value.

Runa operates in partnership with over 1,500 businesses, including M&S, Sodexo, VoucherCodes, Halfords, and more. The sizeable nature of Runa’s network of retailers and merchants enables an ever-larger number of people to use their stored value, encompassing a variety of use cases: HR platforms, loyalty platforms, marketing systems, gift card resellers, disbursement providers, and more. For information about how Runa has impacted its partners, you can see detailed case studies here: https://runa.io/customers

Since its inception, Runa has raised a total of £38.4M in funding, most recently a £26M Series B in November 2022, with investors including Element Ventures, CommerzVentures, Clocktower Ventures, Volution Capital, AlbionVC, and SAP.