Danielle Cerisano, VP Finance at League

Shubham Datta
Oct 3, 2018 · 4 min read

On this episode of The Backbone I chat with Danielle Cerisano, VP Finance at League.

Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is Danielle Cerisano, VP Finance at League. League is a digital platform that allows users to manage all their health care benefits in one place.

Danielle oversees the Finance, Compliance and Human Resource functions at League. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Audit and Assurance practice and has since gone on to work at several high performing technology and innovation firms. Danielle specializes in establishing lean and agile teams and has built multiple finance departments from the ground up. Her key strengths include a passion for improving operational effectiveness and her ability to use data-driven insights to create impactful change. Danielle obtained her CPA, CA designation while at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree from Queen’s University.

On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Danielle about:

  1. Her progression within finance at tech companies such as: BluePrint Software Systems, Goldmoney and others, before joining League;
  2. League and what its all about;
  3. Raising from a $47M USD financing round from a strategic VC firm vs a traditional venture capital fund;
  4. Dealing with the challenges of the various stakeholders (employers, administrators, and plan members) the company’s products and services serves;
  5. When should a company hire a controller, vs a Director of Finance vs a VP or a CFO?

We close things off with a quickfire round:

  • Your go to online resource for all things startup finance related
  • Your favourite productivity hack
  • Tech jargon that makes you cringe
  • The best advise you’ve received
  • One thing you don’t leave the office before finishing

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Check out previous episodes of The Backbone

Episode 21: Using Analytics and Predictive Models to Improve Budgeting + the Role of Attribution in Assessing Digital Marketing ROI w/ Emma Lyndon, CFO at Canopy Labs

Episode 20: Considerations for CAC and Churn in a Self-Serve Pricing Model w/ Matt Dove, VP Finance at Celtx

Episode 19: The Journey of Raising $100M ICO (Initial Coin Offering) as a Venture-Backed Unicorn w/ Brandon Brunet, Controller at Kik

Episode 18: Bootstrapped to $12M Series A & What it Means for the Finance Function w/ Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub

Episode 17: The Added Complexities of Hardware Tech Companies & How to Price a New Medical Device w/ Travis Phung, Director of Finance & Administration at Exact Imaging

Episode 16: Monetizing a Free Product & Navigating Complexities of the Financial Services Space w/ Brian Wu, Finance Lead at Borrowell

Episode 15: Serving the Restaurant Industry & Breaking Into Tech in a Finance Capacity w/ Rob Curcio, Director of Finance at TouchBistro

Episode 14: Scaling the Finance Function, Fundraising, Making Acquisitions & Operationalizing Metrics w/ Ryan Magee, Chief Financial Officer at Cority

Episode 13: Serving the SMB Market at a Publicly Traded Software Company vs a High-Growth Startup w/ Darren Wood, Director of Finance & Operations at Jobber

Episode 12: Leading Finance at NPOs to High Growth Tech & Bootstrapping vs Raising Venture Capital w/ Anthony Scolaro, VP Finance & Operations at Lucova

Episode 11: Raising $17M Series A Round & What it Means to be ‘Venture-Backed w/ Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill

Episode 10: Vendor Selection Considerations & Viewing the Finance Function from an Engineering Perspective w/ Gerti Dervishi, VP Finance at Flybits

Episode 9: The Process of Acquiring Companies as a Startup & Best Practices for Investor Relations w/ Ryan Levenberg, VP Finance at Q4 Systems Inc.

Episode 8: Raising VC Funding to Executing an $110M Acquisition + Demystifying the Progressive Roles of the Finance Leader within a Startupw/ Dwayne Walker, CFO at LookbookHQ

Episode 7: Going Through an Acquisition of an eCommerce Company & Keeping Both Sides of a Marketplace Happy w/ Elena Armstrong, Co-Founder & VP Finance at Exact Media

Episode 6: From Finance to Founding an IoT Startup & Bootstrapping vs. Raising Venture Capital w/ Sacha Sawaya, Co-Founder and CFO at Litmus Automation

Episode 5: Difference Between Being an Advisor vs Finance Leader for Tech Startups & When to Raise Capital w/ Eugene Bomba, CFO & VP Operations at ThoughtWire

Episode 4: Transitioning from Professional Services to Finance Leader of Pre-Revenue Tech Startup w/ Chris Parkes, CFO at NuraLogix

Episode 3: Why Finance & Operations go Together & Dealing with the Highly Regulated Financial Services Industry w/ Leen Li, Head of Finance at Wealthsimple

Episode 2: How Finance Scales Growing from 25 to 200+ Employees & Transfer Pricing w/ Les Cullen, Director Finance & Operations at TopHat

Episode 1: Managing Churn & Being Private Equity Backed w/ Daniel Israelsohn, VP Finance & Operations at Firmex


The Backbone is a podcast hosted by Shubham Datta, that explores the journey inside finance at a startup. Each episode features a finance leader (Director/VP, Finance or CFO) that:

  • shares their story of how they entered the world of startups,
  • explains what their company does
  • describes unique challenges he/she faces in their role
  • shares expertise relating to specific topics on the mind of finance leaders

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

Shubham Datta

Written by

Coprorate Develpment @shopify + Host @BackbonePodcast | write about #tech, #investing, #finance, #SaaS | opinions are my own | more: www.shubhamdatta.com

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

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