Israeli startup Empathy offers a platform which helps families navigate the journey they face after losing a loved one. It has just launched its application on iOS and Android for users across the United States. Empathy raised by $13M in a seed round co-led by General Catalyst and Aleph.
Have you ever suffered a loss? Do you know someone who is grieving right now? If so then you know that people who have just suffered a loss are not only in mourning, but usually find themselves needing to navigate all sorts of bureaucratic red tape. And then there are all of the menial tasks that need to be taken care of from dealing with closing bank accounts, ending all manner of subscriptions for telephones and internet and informing anyone who needs to know.
According to empathy, bereaved people spend over 500 hours, on average, dealing with immediate needs, like arranging a funeral and validating a will, as well as long-term processes such as estate administration, benefit claims, and property cleanout. Technology makes this bureaucracy more efficient – freeing families to deal with emotional repercussions, and to be there for one another. So this is where the company’s app comes in.
Founded this year by Ron Gura and Yonatan Bergman, two entrepreneurs with experience innovating a wide array of fintech and consumer sectors, Empathy’s technology-enabled platform is designed to guide families experiencing loss with purpose and compassion. The duo began their work together at The Gifts Project, acquired by eBay in 2011, and over the last decade have held various leadership positions including at PayPal, eBay, and WeWork. The Empathy team consists of a multidisciplinary lineup of professionals from the legal, accounting, product design, engineering, and cybersecurity sectors, as well as grief experts who came together to help families deal with loss.
Empathy’s application simplifies and streamlines end-of-life bureaucracy with personalized plans and grief support
“It’s the inherent optimism of human nature that causes us to avoid talking about death,” said Ron Gura, Co-Founder & CEO of Empathy. “But because we don’t discuss it, we miss out on important opportunities to innovate and provide families with technology that can help them manage some of life’s most challenging moments — and this leaves families overwhelmed and underserved. Logistics are made hard by grief, and grief is made harder by logistics. Software can and will play a huge role in helping families deal with loss and will hopefully drive a much needed change in the industry at large.”
“The Empathy team is directing their vast experience in consumer software to significantly improve how people handle the burdens that come with death,” said Michael Eisenberg, Co-Founder and Equal Partner at Aleph. “When grieving, many families do not have the bandwidth to deal with tasks and bureaucracy. By combining financial technology and emotional understanding, Empathy has built a product for the next-of kin with compassion at its core.”