GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 12, 2023 — Leya, a Canadian start-up revolutionizing the employee benefits industry with an innovative digital legal platform, announced today the successful closing of its initial $1M CDN financing round. This significant milestone sets the stage for the company's private beta release on November 1st, leading up to its public launch in Québec set for early 2024.
Legal problems are pervasive and impact millions of Canadians every year, often leading to financial strain and emotional distress. Leya is poised to transform this landscape by providing employers with a first of its kind digital benefits platform that allows employees and their family members to access instant and high-quality legal support for everyday legal issues. Leveraging advanced AI and a trusted network of lawyers and notaries, Leya aims to make top-tier legal assistance accessible, affordable, and on-demand, addressing a critical unmet need in the market.
"Over the course of my career, I have had a front-row seat to the challenges individuals encounter in accessing legal help and the repercussions this barrier can have on their personal and professional lives,” said co-founder Ryan Hillier, who, prior to launching Leya, practiced as a litigator within two of the country’s largest law firms and built what would soon after become one of the top growing law firms in Canada. “At Leya, we are leveraging a unique business model and innovative technology to craft an intuitive and immediate solution from which employers and employees alike can benefit."
Leya’s financing round was led by respected venture capital firm Telegraph Hill Capital and serial entrepreneur and investor Benoit Robert. The round also saw participation from several angel investors, including business leaders Helen and Andrew Molson, employee benefits executive Nachi Bhatia, and Chronogolf co-founder Frédéric Jacquet.
"Leya stands out as a transformative player in both the HR and legal tech arenas. Their novel approach to addressing Canada's access-to-legal problem and its impact on the workplace, coupled with their industry expertise and technological prowess, solidified our confidence in their trajectory,” said Luis Gutierrez Roy, managing partner of Telegraph Hill Capital. “We're thrilled to accompany them on this journey and foresee a bright future for the company."
The capital infusion will be pivotal in enhancing Leya's initial platform offering as well as in advancing AI-based research and development. The product team, led by co-founders Gregory Cerallo, Liam Coughlin and Alexandre Boyer-Laporte, is currently driving final testing, and will ensure a seamless launch of the private beta on November 1st.
Come early 2024, the Québec employer community can look forward to experiencing an even deeper suite of features as Leya’s SaaS platform is released at large, with an eye on further expansion across North America on the horizon.
A Crisis Hiding in Plain Sight
Every year, 70% of employees will face everyday legal problems. The unresolved nature of these situations, ranging from minor cases such as traffic violations and landlord-tenant issues to more complex ones in family law and elder care or even consumer law and debt, often spirals into stress and anxiety, which in turn affects their personal and professional lives. This manifests in decreased employee productivity, increased absenteeism, and a general sense of disengagement. Such individual struggles don't remain isolated; they ripple through teams, disrupting dynamics and dampening workplace morale.
Companies integrating Leya’s modern legal benefit platform can offer employees:
● Expert Guidance & Immediate Assistance: Direct, private and secure virtual consultations with vetted legal professionals for personalized, top-tier advice, complemented by round-the-clock live chat support, ensuring legal assistance is available at a moment's notice.
● Empowerment Through Knowledge: A comprehensive legal resource library and live Q&A sessions to help demystify complex topics, enabling employees to take a proactive approach to legal questions and challenges.
● Free Accessible Legal Solutions: The ability for employees to create and customize essential legal documents, like wills and child medical or travel consent forms, without the traditionally hefty price tag.
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a surging demand from employees for legal benefits, particularly among the younger workforce. According to MetLife’s 2023 Employee Benefit Trends study, a staggering 84% of Gen Z employees expressed interest in using affordable legal services via their employer, whereas demand from employees of all ages for legal benefits has increased at a rate of over 20% per year since 2020. Moreover, nearly half (48%) of Gen Z workers said they utilized legal services last year for peace of mind and to alleviate anxiety, and 34% now identify group legal plans as a "must-have" benefit, up from 16% in 2019.
Join the Revolution in Legal Benefits
Québec-based employers are invited to explore Leya's innovative approach to on-demand legal support for their workforce. To learn more and register for our exclusive beta, please visit Leya.ca.
Leya is revolutionizing everyday life and the workplace by putting quality legal services at employees and their family members’ fingertips. By uniquely combining AI-supported live chat, virtual consultations, a comprehensive legal library, and interactive Q&A sessions, Leya helps employees proactively manage important life moments. Offered as a digital benefit, Leya is an easy-to-administer and affordable solution for employers to build trust and increase productivity within their teams. Founded by successful repeat Québec entrepreneurs from the legal and tech sectors, and backed by industry insiders, Leya is positioned to roll its service out to the province this fall with a fast-scaleup planned for 2024. For more information, visit Leya.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact Gregory Cerallo at firstname.lastname@example.org.