Mike Serbinis says LEAGUE raising Series A to tackle North American market

Michael Serbinis

In an interview with sister-site MobileSyrup, LEAGUE founder and CEO Mike Serbinis spoke about the health tech startup’s plans for expansion. Currently in Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle and Boston, Serbinis said LEAGUE plans to launch in other major cities throughout North America by year’s end.

Serbinis also told MobileSyrup and BetaKit writer Igor Bonifacic that the company is in the process of raising a Series A round to fuel the expansion, expecting it to close before summer.

“It’s crazy for me to suggest valuations, but I would say that valuations in the insurance tech market are nuts.”

“We’re on the cusp of raising money, and the plan is to open up metro areas,” Serbinis said. “Big states are where about a third of where the volume is, so eventually California, New York, Texas. We’re already in Washington State. That’s the initial rush to get those teams in place and start selling our platform in those markets. ”

Serbinis would not comment on valuation but said the amount would be within range of a typical Series A round, so somewhere between 10-20 million should be expected. Serbinis was also mum on who would be leading the round, but it is reasonable to expect that OMERS Ventures, which led the company’s $4 million seed round, will be participating. BetaKit has also heard that LEAGUE has been speaking with Power Financial, recent investors in Borrowell and Wealthsimple – which makes sense, considering the company’s focus on tackling employee health benefit plans.

Serbinis also said that compared to its competitors in the insurance tech market, LEAGUE needs far less operating capital to grow quickly, leaving valuations in the space relatively inflated.

“[Health insurance agency] Oscar is nuts. They are a bit older than us, and also a classic insurance model – meaning they need a LOT of capital. We don’t. It’s crazy for me to suggest valuations, but I would say that valuations in the insurance tech market (Oscar as an example) are nuts.”

It’s an advantage that Serbinis said he didn’t have in his past life, as the founder and CEO of Kobo.

“You like to compete against big, dumb, and slow. We didn’t have that at Kobo, we had fucking Amazon,” Serbinis said. “Jeff [Bezos] was a relentless competitor. We would be ready to launch in Brazil, and he would put some bullshit press release out that morning and change the amazon.com.br website to say ‘Kindle coming soon,’ no date. We’d lose some wind in our sails because of him.”

“I want to build this to be giant and I think we can.”

Related: Why Mike Serbinis wants to disrupt the employee insurance market with LEAGUE Benefits

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.