The Hustle

End-of-life startups breathe life into grave situations

Death, be not proud … or too expensive. End-of-life startups help users navigate mortality.


July 17, 2020

Life is full of complicated decisions… so it’s no surprise to learn that death is, too.

Burial or cremation? If the latter, what to do with your ashes? Scatter ‘em? Smoosh ‘em into diamonds? Perhaps you’d like to be a tree.

Startups founded to help people “navigate mortality” have been gaining traction, and they’ve taken off in popularity during the pandemic.

Death, be not proud… or too expensive

Death and money are both taboo topics. Maybe that’s why we don’t discuss the fact that the average funeral cost $7,640 last year.

But Cake and Lantern are free services that help establish end-of-life wishes like who’ll be your designated decision maker, how your possessions will be divided up, and even what you’d like to be your final tweet.

Cake balances the macabre with mirth — we dig the tombstone generator.

Meanwhile, Trust and Will calls itself the TurboTax of estate planning. New Narrative, a funeral event planner, partnered with the online memorial scrapbook company LifeWeb 360 to offer virtual celebrations of life.

All together now

During the pandemic, younger people have opened up their feelings around death. Lantern’s user base has grown by 123%.

Many industry leaders still keep trade secrets close to vest, but there’s a ~70-member-strong Slack channel for end-of-life service providers called Death & Co.

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