A DeathTech company based in London and Manchester has raised £1.1 million seed funding.
Guardian Angel helps people plan for and manage death. The firm has trebled both revenue and its team in the last six months, with customers growing to 100,000 across its products.
This round brings Guardian Angel’s total funding to £1.6m in the last 24 months and will be used to double its Manchester-based development team
The £1.1m early seed round was led by impact investor Fair By Design, which views the firm as part of its mission to tackle the poverty premium.
Fair by Design joins institutional investors Ascension Ventures, GC Angels, Accelerated Digital Ventures and key angel investors including Andrew Weisz, an early Hopin investor, and Rod Bulmer, an ex-CEO at Co-op Group.
Guardian Angel was founded by former finance professional Sam Grice after his mother’s death from a road accident.
“On top of the obvious grief and shock, I discovered that the end-of-life industry was expensive and difficult to navigate, especially in an intensely emotional time,” he said.
“The industry had been largely untouched by technological innovation and needed to rapidly modernise.”
COVID-19 has put death at the forefront of people’s minds, with demand for this solution increasing by 400% during the last year.
A quarter of people in the UK have had a family member and/or close friend become seriously unwell because of COVID-19. This has resulted in increased awareness and urgency to end-of-life planning, however, products like life insurance remain in decline. Guardian Angel aims to solve that.
Guardian Angel has launched a beta product which it says is the first online consolidated death planning tool – covering everything from wills and life insurance to post-death support.
This tool, which already has close to 3,000 users, helps people navigate this complex process at a fraction of the cost and is supported by large insurance and tech industry players Berkshire Hathaway’s GenRe and Covea Insurance.
Guardian Angel distributes their products directly to consumers and via business partnerships. It currently has around 100 partners distributing its services, including some of the country’s largest charities, funeral directors and employers.
Grice added: “We’re thrilled that this new round of funding will allow us to help more people navigate the messy world of planning for death. Sorting these things early makes things significantly easier for the people left behind after someone dies.
“I wish my family had access to something like this, and as a team we’re proud to be offering more accessible and affordable planning tools to more people.”
Jess Jackson, Head of Investment at GC Angels, said: “GC Angels was drawn to Guardian Angel by Sam’s real passion to make a difference in an industry that so many have a negative experience with.
“DeathTech is an area ripe for disruption, but also an area that many are afraid to approach. The team at Guardian Angel are committed to changing this.”