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Runa is a smart solution for distributing gift cards and digital rewards at scale. They stand out for providing access to 700+ brands, bulk discounts of up to 25% off, and the ability to reclaim unspent value on expired gift cards.
Ease of Use
- You can sign up, create an account and play with the platform for free.
- There are no minimum or maximum amounts for a budget.
- Only gift cards available as rewards.
- Before you can access each brand and offer them to your employees for gift cards, you have to make a request and get approved by said brand.
At its core, Runa (formerly known as WeGift)is a virtual gift cards platform. While certainly optimized for employee rewards and recognition, they’re all about taking out the guesswork and letting employees select a gift card from one of their thousands of popular brands. This is the core offering behind their many modules, which are incentive marketing, retail brand services, and employee rewards.
For the manager, Runa works a bit like an ecommerce site. Once you have set up a budget, you pick an amount and a currency to send a gift card. The recipient gets to pick who the gift card will be from. This can be done for a single individual or in bulk. They’d get an email with the next steps and get the gift card to their inbox as well, sometimes branded with your company’s logo but also tailored to the store they chose.
For employee rewards, it’s a simple solution and is pretty much a gift-card only catalog. This has resonated particularly with businesses that want to be able to send instant rewards to colleagues across borders with the least amount of hassle possible.
Their rewards module can of course track employee engagement. You get reports on which rewards are most popular per the whole company or department, for instance. You also get real-time metrics on how often rewards are redeemed and how much you’ve spent. Then, as a brief word on their other modules, Runa's gift card platform is also well-known as a customer acquisition tool, using gift cards to incentivize referrals and retention. They also work as service providers for cashback programs and survey incentives.
Runa tends to work mostly with companies that have a minimum of $1M in revenue and more than 10 employees. You’d need to consider that an annual rewards budget of $12,000 is somewhat of a standard for them, which might be pricey for smaller operations.
Runa is used to reward employees at companies like Vodafone, Sodexo, Perkbox, Uber, Starbucks, Apple, and Halford’s.
- Personalized gift cards: Runa lets the recipient choose the brand they’d like to redeem the gift card from. This takes out the guesswork, and is especially handy when creating gift cards in bulk for a whole team or department.
- Tracking engagement: Among many other reports, Runa's platform can show you which rewards are most popular with each department, how your reward redemption rates evolve over time, and how much you’re spending vs. how much is being redeemed.
- Automated unspent value recovery: As we all know, using the full amount of a gift card can be a tricky thing. If its value was $100 and the employee spent $20 before it expired, what happens to the remaining $80? At least with Runa, it’s added back to your account.
Some other Runa features are:
- Email templates
- User permissions
- Finance module
- Order history
- Gift card API
Runa can integrate with other parts of your tech stack via API. For data sharing, you can also upload CSV files for bulk orders, or download one if you’d like to send the gift cards’ URLs via your own messaging system.
Runa has an annual fee which varies depending on your company size and budget. $12,000 per year is a typical budget.
Companies in need of a multi-currency and multi-language solution for no-frills employee rewards in the form of gift cards. With this consideration, it’s a good bet for companies of varying sizes and in pretty much all kinds of industries, but it does find more traction with distributed teams or large companies with operations in several countries.
In its essence, the Runa platform is literally plug and play. Getting started takes only a few hours, enough for your Customer Support representative to create your portal and walk you through the process of loading funds into your account.
That being said, in the beginning of your relationship with Runa, the aspect that could take more time is getting approved by the brands. Understandably, some brands want to know a bit about what you do and how you’d like to use their gift cards before granting access. Luckily, the Runa platform and team also helps with streamlining this process.
Runa offers 24-hour customer service, but they can also easily connect you with the technical support department of every brand they operate with.
Founded in London, UK in 2016, Runa started by noticing that sending non-cash payouts tends to be a time-consuming, manual, error-prone, and even tedious process. The idea then was to take care of the payout process and the relationships with gift card providers. By letting their platform become this medium, companies can transfer value instantly to the people they want to reward, recognize, or incentivize.
Of course, a big part of the complexity with sending a gift card to an employee, which is one of their main use cases, came from sending it to someone in another country altogether. They worked to secure alliances and, in some cases, a native API, with companies with a wide international appeal as well as local players. Eventually, this allowed them to offer a comprehensive gift card catalog that’s available in more than 30 countries, over 60 languages, and each respective currency.
As of 2023, Runa still have their headquarters in London but they now have offices in Cambridge and New York City.
Number of Employees
Raised $12M in Series A funding in November 2020
What is Runa (WeGift)?
Formerly known as WeGift, Runa is a British startup that’s among the top names in gift card management software. That makes them a must-see option for use cases like employee rewards and recognition and incentive marketing.
Is Runa good for employee rewards?
Although Runa is more of a gift card management platform, they can definitely be used for employee rewards by companies that want a quick and simple solution that lets them reward employees in a variety of geographies. We’ve demoed the tool and thus feel that they are definitely worth considering for the rewards and recognition use case, even if they’re not exclusively dedicated to this software niche.