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LEAGUE takes small business health benefits digital with $25M Series A

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/06/2016 John Mannes

Canadian startup LEAGUE closed a $25 million Series A led by OMERS Ventures this morning. The company aims to put the power of customizing healthcare coverage into the hands of employees without burdening them with traditional complexities.

LEAGUE wants to streamline the process by which employees enroll for health insurance. The platform will feature a mobile app where employees can take money from their LEAGUE wallet and use it inside and outside the company’s preferred provider network. Users can opt-into services ranging from regular check-ups to preventative care and wellness benefits.

Currently, employees have to fight through stacks of paperwork, and employers have to spend unnecessary money on human resources to assist employees in the arduous process of signing up for health insurance.

Since 2014, the company has brought just under 500 companies on-board its platform. Employers can already sign up in Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Companies pay a monthly fee on top of their health plan to LEAGUE to take advantage of the streamlined service.

Service offerings are expected to grow across the United States over the next 24-36 months. The long timeline is largely a product of heterogeneity in healthcare procedures between states.

“Obamacare sets constraints on the kinds of plans we can offer and who we can partner with but the underlying problem is universal,” said LEAGUE CEO Michael Serbinis.

Serbinis has founded a number of previous ventures including the Kobo e-reader platform. Kobo sold to Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten for $315 million in 2011.

LEAGUE wants to maintain its focus on the market whitespace that exists between consumer health insurance companies like Oscar and large enterprise brokerage solutions like Collective Health. The company strives to differentiate itself with its prioritization of preventative care.

One of the strengths of LEAGUE is that new healthcare plan options can be added at any time. In the future, more specialized options like Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) could be offered on a per-use-basis. Typically EAPs are subscription based.

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