We don’t usually cover funding news on ITBusiness.ca, but health benefits platform League Inc.’s latest round is led by an unexpected backer: Telus Corp.

The telecom’s venture capital arm, Telus Ventures, has joined Wittington Group, OMERS Ventures, and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)’s venture arm, RBC Ventures, in investing $62 million into supporting League’s “mission to bring a consumer-centric benefits alternative for forward-thinking businesses,” the companies announced in a Tuesday press release.

League’s existing investors also include Real Ventures, Infinite Potential Group, and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

“Employers experiencing the war for talent, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and the mental health epidemic are rapidly recognizing that a new approach to benefits will give them a competitive advantage,” League founder and CEO Mike Serbinis said in the release. “Health benefits represent a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives and health outcomes for employees, but they’re not currently driving the business value employers should expect from their investment. League gives them greater control over their spend while delivering an unparalleled employee experience that maximizes both health and productivity.”

In the same release, Telus Ventures managing partner Rich Osborn said his organization believes that “innovative companies like League — which deliver compelling, consumer-centric experiences — will not only drive high employee and employer engagement, but will also deliver fundamental improvements in health outcomes for Canadians through their carrier-friendly open platform.”

“I’m pleased to support the League team as a new board member and add the company to our venture portfolio alongside others innovating in virtual care, mental health, personal health records, wellness, and population health management,” Osborn said.

Though its parent is better known for its telecommunications offerings, Telus Ventures has invested in more than 70 companies since being founded in 2001, with a particular focus on health tech, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and security. Its other investments include smart pill dispenser designer DoMedic and health information technology developer Get Real Health.

Founded in November 2014, League provides companies with a suite of apps designed to reduce total operating costs for their benefits while delivering a superior experience for both administrators and users. Available apps include a unified, customizable digital wallet; chat-based support; behaviour-based health rewards; and a marketplace with exclusive deals on health and wellness products and services.

The company’s latest round of funding will allow Toronto-based League to open new offices in San Francisco, New York City, and London. The company launched in the U.S. market in 2017, and is now licensed to operate in all 50 states, and expects to enter the U.K. and E.U. markets next year.

Before launching League, founder and CEO Serbinis was best known as founder and CEO of digital reading company Kobo.

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