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Healthcare fintech Aya picks up funding led by MaRS IAF, Luge

Toronto-based health financial technology provider Aya has raised US$2.9 million in a seed-stage financing.

Toronto-based health financial technology provider Aya has raised US$2.9 million in a seed-stage financing. The round was led by MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Luge Capital, with participation from Anthemis Group, BDC Capital, StandUp Ventures and angel investors. Aya builds payments solutions and program administration for employee benefits packages.

PRESS RELEASE

TORONTO, November 19, 2020 – Aya Payments, a healthcare FinTech startup that builds payments solutions and program administration for employee benefits packages, announced today the closing of a USD $2.9 million financing round led by MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Luge Capital with participation from Anthemis Group, BDC Capital, StandUp Ventures and strategic angel investors. The investment will fuel Aya’s customer acquisition strategy, product development efforts, and expansion into the US market.

Founded in 2018, Aya officially launched its first product this year, Aya Care, a technology platform that enables employees to make easy payments from digital wellness spending accounts (WSA) and tax-advantaged health spending accounts (HSA). Aya offers their customers a physical and virtual Mastercard that is used to make health-related purchases, eliminating the need for employees to pay out-of-pocket and submit complex expense claims. The platform offers real-time reporting and other tools to employers, employee benefits brokers, insurance carriers and other third party administrators (TPAs).

In addition to the new capital raise, Aya Payments is also announcing partnerships with Sterling Capital Brokers, PACE Consulting Benefits & Pensions and Lawrie Insurance Group, three of Canada’s leading employee benefits brokers, who are now offering Aya’s product suite to their employer customers. These partnerships represent a shift in the employee benefits space towards digital-first, employee-centric products that are easy to use and simple for employers to administer.

“Our mission is to elevate customer experience so employers can put their employees first. We dedicate the same level of ingenuity, innovation and class to our product as the best technology companies on the planet,” said Chanddeep Madaan, CEO of Aya. “We use modern technologies to bring accessible healthcare to all sizes of businesses. Our goal is to promote this product through our relationships with advisors and innovative insurance carriers. This space is growing and we’re the best product here.”

“Aya care has already created invaluable experiences for our clients” says Stefan Ionescu, co-founder at Sterling Capital Brokers in Toronto. “We created this solution opportunity for our clients and they love us for it. It’s brought flexibility and simplicity to a complex world of benefits. It’s also allowed us to increase our revenues while offering a solution that is best in the market at the lowest cost. We are thrilled to be a part of Aya’s success story.”

“Our attraction to Aya Payments was rooted in the calibre of the team and their ambition to fundamentally change how we experience employee benefits,” said Karim Gillani, General Partner at Luge Capital. “In Canada and the US, there are approximately 30 million HSAs with nearly $85 billion in total assets, most of which operate on old legacy platforms. The launch of ayaHSA is just the first chapter in the mission to eliminate friction, provide transparency and help millions feel secure in their healthcare coverage.”

“It’s been exciting to watch Aya build the most flexible benefits platform for employers, but also the very best benefits experience for consumers. Chanddeep and Mario have the backgrounds needed to achieve their vision and we’re excited to support them in their next phase of growth,” said Connor Edwards, senior investment manager at MaRS IAF. “This is only the beginning for Aya and we’re confident this funding will help the company achieve its mission to revolutionize health and wellness benefits for everyone.”

“In 2020, it’s remarkable to think that so many financial services companies still subject their customers to manual, and often paper-based, processes. What’s worse is that people are often faced with these cumbersome tasks – like HSA claims reimbursements – at critical moments in life… moments when we just need things to work,” said Matthew Jones, Principal at Anthemis. “We’re proud to be supporting the Aya team as they revolutionise how people experience healthcare and employee benefits.”

The growing cost of healthcare resulting in high-deductible insurance packages and employees’ desire to have a personalized benefits package – both having been further impacted by the COVID pandemic – are pushing more employers in Canada and the US to improve offerings of spending accounts, employee health and wellness programs.

About Aya Payments
Aya is changing everything. And it starts with our Aya Prepaid Mastercard® for all your health and wellness expenses. Our Vision: We saw the need for faster, more efficient, and secure fintech digital platforms to help employers and employees manage the complex world of health and wellness spending accounts. Our Values: Team work. Work Ethic. And building something bigger than yourself. These core values define Aya and all that we do. Our Team: As a team, we’ve previously launched 34 customer facing products in the market. And Aya is our best one yet.

About MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) is an early stage venture capital firm based in Toronto. Since 2008, we have partnered with over 150 companies built by extraordinary founders.

About Luge Capital
Luge Capital is a FinTech-focused venture capital fund, investing in early-stage teams shaping the way the world experiences financial services. We invest in fintech and AI solutions applied to financial services and love when entrepreneurs challenge the status quo. We work with dedicated founders who are driven to solve real problems that affect people on a global scale. We are an experienced team of operators with a deep industry network to help leaders build successful companies.

About Anthemis
Anthemis cultivates change in financial services by investing in, growing and sustaining businesses committed to improving the world. We are founded on three guiding principles — authentic collaboration, virtuous cycle outcomes, and diversity and inclusivity — and our deep understanding of markets and models, passion for emerging technology and values inspire everything we do. By creating fertile ground for a diverse group of startups, investors, entrepreneurs, institutions, academics and visionaries to converge, we believe we can solve the financial services world’s most pressing challenges faster, better and for the benefit of all.

About BDC
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC – Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions.