Aya Payments secures $2.9M seed financing led by Luge Capital

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By CPE News

CPE News (11/21/2020) – Aya Payments has raised US $2.9 million in seed funding led by Luge Capital with participation of MaRS IAF, Anthemis, BDC Capital, StandUp Ventures and private investors.

Founded by Chanddeep Madaan, Mario Furgiuele and Joanna Armatys, Aya Payments is fundamentally changing the way health benefits are provided to employees.

In connection with the financing, Luge Capital’s Karim Gillani will join Aya Payments board of directors.

photo credit: Aya Payments

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Luge backs Aya Payments, the healthcare Fintech that’s reimagining employee benefits

Karim Gillani

We are delighted to announce that Luge Capital has completed an investment in Toronto-based Aya Payments, the company that is fundamentally changing the way health benefits are provided to employees. We led the USD $2.9M financing round alongside MaRS IAF (Toronto), with participation from Anthemis (London, UK), BDC Capital (Montreal), StandUp Ventures (Toronto) and strategic angel investors. Our attraction to Aya Payments is rooted in the calibre of the team and their ambition to solve a huge problem that affects millions of people.

The Problem

If you are lucky enough to have benefits from your employer, it is typically an off-the-shelf plan from a large insurance carrier. The plan usually consists of a complex menu for dental care, vision care, hospital expenses, prescription drugs, healthcare equipment and a handful of other items. In most cases, your plan is generic, and doesn’t account for your specific situation. In other words, you may have a higher need for vision care than you do for prescription drugs, but your plan doesn’t adjust for that case. Furthermore, your employer pays a significant premium for your coverage regardless of whether you use the plan or not.

The Aya Solution

Aya is removing all the complexity associated with traditional employee benefits, and simplifying the experience. Their product allows employees to use a MasterCard, funded by their employers. The card can be used to make any health-related purchases specific to your needs, which are then tax-deductible. Unlike traditional health spending accounts (HSAs), Aya does not require the employee to pay up-front out-of-pocket, nor does it require manually completing expense claims after the purchase. Aya has also launched a wellness spending account (WSA), tied to the same MasterCard so that employees can additionally spend on other wellness items such as gym memberships, education, public transportation and childcare.

The best way to delight your customers is to offer a product they truly want, and make it virtually effortless to use. Aya is doing exactly that by providing healthcare coverage via a debit card that everyone already knows how to use, and is accepted everywhere. Need a new pair of glasses or new running shoes? Just swipe your Aya card. Especially in a COVID-stricken world, employers are looking for ways they can better support their staff while they work from home. Aya’s HSA and WSA products offer that support and flexibility for employees to spend on the items or services they need most.

The Market is Huge

The market that Aya is addressing is massive. The annual healthcare spend in Canada and the United States is $242 billion and $4.6 trillion, respectively. In the US, there are approximately 30 million health spending accounts holding a total of $75 billion in assets. These accounts run on old legacy platforms that are expensive and require manual processes, resulting in inefficiencies for employers, workers, and plan administrators. Chanddeep Madaan, Mario Furgiuele and Joanna Armatys, the co-founders of Aya, are on a mission to provide a better and pain-free way for HSA holders to access their healthcare benefits.

In addition to the capital raise, Aya also announced 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.

Very soon, the complexity of traditional employee benefits plans will fade away, and all you’ll need for your healthcare coverage is your Aya card in your pocket and the mobile app as a companion. Just swipe! -Karim Gillani, General Partner, Luge Capital

Aya Payments is currently hiring for the following roles:
Sales and Business Development Representative — Advisor Partnerships
Backend Golang Engineer
Digital Marketing Lead
Operations and Customer Support Analyst
Please apply at careers@ayacare.com

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.