Tech startup Autumn has developed a death care digital marketplace to connect bereaved families with services. The company launches today following a $600,000 pre-seed funding round led by the investment firm Bullish Inc.
To build its marketplace, Autumn has aggregated more than 500,000 local service providers, the startup reported. These include accountants, appraisers, attorneys, funeral homes, grief specialists, and other organizations that help families address the legal, financial, and logistical concerns that follow the death of a loved one.
Autumn Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Shaw told Hospice News that his own personal losses inspired him to build the company.
“My background is in technology production, I came up through the marketing and branding and creative world and over the past 10 years have suffered a lot of death in my own family,” Shaw said. “When I went to the web to look for things to help, I was sort of surprised to find things that I thought didn’t look great, didn’t work very well, or nothing at all.”
Autumn is the latest entrant to a cottage industry that is springing up around end-of-life and bereavement care. The market research firm StrategyR projects that the budding “death care services” sector will be a $147.8 billion industry by 2026.
Access to the marketplace is free for consumers, who will also have access to guides produced by Autumn to help them navigate bereavement and the range of tasks that come with it. Autumn also features a memorial website creator product and an online network through which bereaved families can communicate or offer mutual support.
The company’s revenue stream will come from subscription fees that service providers pay to join Autumn’s marketplace.
The investment firm Bullish is Autumn’s largest backer following a $200,000 investment. Other investors in the total $600,000 pre-seed round included Great Oaks Venture Capital and Marco Zappacosta, CEO of the home management technology company Thumbtack.
“This money went towards building the platform and scaling it to the point where we can begin to find product-market fit,” Shaw said. “In subsequent months, we’ll use that data to raise a seed round, which allows us to actually build out the platform and its clearest ambitions, which is, of course, additional content and more tools to help bereaved people.”
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