Finance, Products

Death care startup, Bare, raises over $6 million in Series A funding

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Bare, the Australian death care start-up that was founded in 2019 and already has a staff of 42 and has served over 15,000 Australians to date announced in June that it had raised AUS $10 million (US $6.82 million) in a round of Series A funding to advance their growth journey. This article from Smart Company indicates that Perennial Partners and Ord Minnett Private Capital have joined the group of funders which includes former NBA basketball star Andrew Bogut.

Bare commented that the funding will be put into product experience including digital services, engineering, and market education to consumers about end-of-life journey options.

Bare, in just three short years has moved their product offerings from simple direct-to-consumer cremations to now include funeral services, memorial celebrations, and legal support.

According to the article, Bare co-founders have determined that (in Australia) “At a fundamental level, the historical funeral industry has been built around this idea of the body being present at the (cremation) ceremony or the funeral service. And because of that, this necessarily compresses both space and time and needs to be held quite quickly and at the funeral parlor where the body is held.”

Because of that “The (consumer) decisions are not only rushed, but the co-founders say the options available are limited and expensive too. Bare wants to change this and give its customers the option to decouple the cremations from memorials and give families the time and space to choose.”

Currently with Bare, according to their website you can access here, consumer Direct Cremation clients receive the following for AUS $2,299 (US $1,567):

  • Transfer of the deceased
  • Care
  • Cremation Container
  • Cremation
  • Return of Ashes

The next level of care options are called the “Base Memorial” and clients receive all of the above plus the following for AUS $4,299 (US $2,930):

  • Venue — Church, Chapel or Community based
  • Funeral Celebrant
  • Slideshow/Music
  • Flowers
  • Register Book/Memorial Folders
  • Event Management

According to one of Bare’s founders, Cale Donovan, “We’re investing in a product that will redefine what that funeral service can look like”.

Funeral Director Daily take:  It’s interesting for me to see death care startups seemingly moving fast forward with disruptive models in their countries.  First, it was Pure Cremation in the United Kingdom that seemingly found its niche with “no-fuss, low-cost, pre-pay, online cremation” in that country.  According to this article, published in January 2022, they have been highly successful.  Part of their success, it appears to me, is the investment they made in their own crematories, instead of using Great Britain’s model of community crematories in conjunction with the rise of Great Britain’s choice of direct cremation with no services .  In my opinion, these crematories are a capital cost, but using their own crematories helps Pure Cremation control their costs as opposed to just adding overhead for funeral facilities.

Now, we see Bare of Australia use that country’s historical “post service cremation” concept as a hurried concept and are advocating direct cremation with memorial services at a later date as a better alternative.  In addition, they are using the online arrangement (and funding) options for client families to find “choice and personalization” as they grieve.

While I see several similar traits of these businesses I think one of the fundamental cores as to these companies growing is that they believe that the cremation consumer is willing, able, and very happy to arrange everything online.  Their fundamental decision that that concept will work has allowed Pure Cremation and Bare to hold prices down to a minimal level which will continue to draw more and more consumer clients to them without having to invest heavily in real estate facilities to conduct business. . . . .And, with the cost of overhead a big part of the death care business costs, these companies should be able to win on a price point number as direct cremation continues to grow.

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