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Canadian health insurance startup League raises $25 million

Canadian health insurance startup League raises $25 million

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 14, 2016

Canadian health insurance startup League Inc has raised $25 million in early-stage funding from backers including the country's biggest bank, according to its chief executive and co-founder. 

Mike Serbinis, who also ran e-book company Kobo before it was sold to Rakuten Inc 4755.T for $315 million in 2011, said League plans to launch its own insurance products in the next few months as it expands across Canada and in the U.S. Pacific coast states of Washington, Oregon and California. 

The company, which is also targeting New York, Dallas and Boston this year, sells software that helps employers manage employee benefits, with the aim of cutting costs and reducing paperwork.

Serbinis said the initial focus is on small businesses, many of which do not currently offer health benefits to employees. While traditional health insurance claims might cost dollars or tens of dollars to process, "it costs us less than a penny," he said.

"Insurance is just another commodity waiting to be Uber'd," he added in a phone interview, referring to the ride-hailing app that has played havoc with the traditional taxi industry. 

The series A financing round was led by OMERS Ventures and included investments from Canada's largest bank Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO, and Power Financial Corp PWF.TO, as well as Mike Lazaridis' Infinite Potential Technologies, League said in a statement. 

League and its backers did not disclose the size of the stake or what value it puts on the company.

The cash injection is one of the biggest ever series A raises for a Canadian life sciences company, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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