CEO of League, Michael Serbinis, talks about designing a winning culture
Tell us about League.
We are a digital health benefits platform, but the business didn’t start that way. The business was originally inspired by the idea of ‘What is the future of healthcare look like?’.
It’s been 4 years and we just closed our 62 million dollar series B. We have expanded to about 185 employees based in Toronto with an office in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and we are expecting to open one in London. We are an open platform that works with dozens of insurance carriers and other financial providers and we serve companies all the way from small tech start-ups, to KPMG, Uber and Unilever. Large enterprises want a fundamentally different experience when it comes to employees and health, health insurance, and overall benefits. Ultimately, they want to save money, and League helps them with that.
What was the companies journey like to where it is now?
The journey building League has been epic. It is not at all like any of my other journeys. This is the 4th company I’ve built up from zero. This start-up has not been like the others, it has been a lot harder. It started with this idea of what does the future of healthcare look like? We knew it was going to be personalised, preventative, digital and always on. Someone is going to build the swiss army knife for that, the app, the platform, and we thought ‘Why not us?’ We set out on this mission to empower people with their health everyday and we’ll build whatever that is. We reimagined the experience - all those paper booklets, dusty forms and plastic cards. We’re changing the experience with something that’s digital and personalized. We’re reimagining the category of health insurance.
What do you offer to your employees beyond compensation?
The value that we offer our employees beyond compensation is great benefits! Additionally, I’d say the real big thing that people walk away from here is that they had an opportunity to become a better version of themselves. It is a core value here that we’re supporting you to have your best life, live your best life… and if you can achieve it, then it’s magic.
What is it about your companies culture that creates success?
I believe culture is not the ‘what’ or the ‘why’, it is the ‘how’. What does that mean? It’s how you do work, it’s how you compete. If you’re in it to win it, the ‘how’ is critical. What you want is to choose people that exemplify that ‘how’, you want to reward and recognize and build upon that ‘how’. In doing this, you can design the corporate culture that is going to help you win.
What’s next for League?
If you’re a start-up, you’ve got to always be growing. It’s grow or you’re dead, and you just don’t know it yet. So obviously, we’re growing. We’re expanding across the US, the UK and Europe; we’re expanding up-market and continuing to build out our platform, our team. We’re growing and we’re moving office - space is critical to how the magic happens, and allows us to continue to build out the mission.