Startups are getting into the business of death

Back in 2015, TOI reported about startups like Mokshshil and, companies that tried to provide funeral services online. Now, it seems that the rest of the world is catching up. Take Cake, for example. While the name might sound like yet another online caterer, what Cake does is handle people’s legacies on the web such as tweets, Facebook posts, playlists and other artefacts of online existence. “Most people haven’t thought about what they would want to happen to their online accounts after they’ve passed away . We help people understand that there might be precious memories or even actual assets in their Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram accounts, etc,“ she tells The Guardian. Then, there’s Farewill, a London based startup that makes it easier for people to make and update their wills online. Cardiff-based Kim Bird is attempting to bring transparency to the famously opaque ­ and expensive ­ funeral business with her company About the Funeral, founded in 2012. So is Derrick Grant, with his network of funeral directors called Willow.

“Users fill in a simple questionnaire and are directed to the provider who most closely matches their needs. The business makes money through the sale of funeral products such as coffins, flowers and celebrant services. Grant says people often pay large sums for these and it is easy to undercut his competition. He believes he is also making the process easier,“ reports Jon Card at The Guardian.

Across the Atlantic, startups dealing with death are taking off as well. With 2.6 billion people dying annually in the US, it is a big business, after all, and startups want their share. As baby boomers become more comfortable shopping online, these startups are finding a highly engaged audience. And those in their 20s and 30s, hitting major life events like marriage, the birth of a child or the loss of a parent, also require planning services. There are the basic services, such as those offered by Los Angeles based Parting, which allows users to search for funeral homes by entering a zip code and compare service rates. Another startup in Los Angeles, Grace, is tackling all of the issues that can overwhelm family members coping with grief after the death of a loved one. “Like what are the 60 things I need to do in the next three months? At Grace we say, `Here are the 17 things you need to do this week’ and you can check them off as you do them. Here’s what you do the week before someone dies, when they die and then two weeks later,“ says Alex Kruger, the company’s co-founder.

And ultimately, the idea is that these startups will help people decide what needs to be done after death ­ whether their bodies be given over to science, or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner and so on. And with greater transparency, maybe even the prohibitory costs of a funeral will come down.

Source : The Times of India (Delhi)


Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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