London-based startup Farewill has secured £20 million ($36m AU) in funding to expand through the UK, with the aim of modernising the country’s death care industry with technology and design. The round was led by Highland Europe, joined by Keen Venture Partners, Rich Pierson of Headspace, Broadhaven Capital Partners and VentureFounders.
Winner of the ‘best social innovation’ award at the 2020 Europas, the startup has built a platform that helps people write wills (allegedly in just 15 minutes), guiding them through a series of questions, sans legal jargon. When the time comes, family members can use Farewill for the probate process or even use the company’s new cremation services, after getting an instant quote on the website. The goal is to provide death care that is transparent, dignified and doesn’t result in ‘funeral poverty’.
“For too long, the wills and funeral industry has been largely geared towards profit over purpose,” says Stan Laurent, partner at Highland Europe. “How about entirely removing the administrative pain for those grieving for their loved ones? How about providing an affordable, effortless and considerate service? That’s what the Farewill team is doing – with an extraordinary blend of compassion and tech-fueled efficiency.”
This investment takes the total raised to £30 million, after a £7.5 million round in early 2019 and a seed round in 2016.
Founded in 2015 by Antton Peña, Dan Garrett and Tom Rogers, the legal tech company claims to be the largest will writer in the UK, responsible for 10 percent of all wills. With its direct cremation service, which launched last year, the team says it helped more families within two months than the average funeral home serves in a year.
Farewill was created to make everything to do with death simpler, faster and fairer.