Runa is a service that captures the website activity of every site visitor and customer and analyzes it to create a unique profile. The data from this process is then used to predict the best ad/deal/promotion to show that shopper in real time, which theoretically can help online retailers drive more sales.
“With Runa, we’re adding technology to better serve our customers with personalized items, offers, and delivery estimates, all in real-time, said Staples CEO Ronald Sargent in a statement. “Runa will allow us to tap into the wealth of engineering and e-commerce expertise in the Silicon Valley area.”
Runa is Staples’ first big acquisition of a Silicon Valley company, and it likely signals that the retailer wants to beef up its efforts against online retail giant Amazon when it comes to selling office supplies and related products. Earlier this year, Staples was one of a handful of retailers that even ended its partnership in Amazon’s Lockers program, which allowed Amazon customers to pick up packages at physical location if they were unavailable to sign for them at a residence or office. The logic was that the Amazon Lockers program would translate to higher sales to Staples by way of foot traffic to these physical retail stores, but clearly Staples is trying to compete both on and off line these days.
As for Runa, the San Mateo, Calif.-based startup was founded in 2009 and had previously raised $10.2 million in funding to date.