Recompose looking for $5 million more in crowdfunding campaign



Natural Organic Reduction (NOR), sometimes referred to as “human composting” may not be my ideal choice of body disposition.  But, that thought does not make me any less of a fan and admirer of Recompose founder Katrina Spade.


Spade, in only a few short years has moved NOR from idea to proven process to legitimate business with growth potential.  And, during much of that time she was told it couldn’t be done.  She now has a track record in the Recompose location where, according to this article from GeekWire, the first two years of operation brought in total revenue of $1.6 million and for this year revenue is projected at $1.48 million.  So, it is not just an idea anymore.


As a matter of fact, Spade is in the process of raising another $5 million for the company — this time with a “pre-money” valuation of $76 million for the young company.  Founded as a public benefits company Recompose accepts investment from small investors through a source known as “Wefunder“.  The Wefunder website has an incredible amount of information on Recompose and the NOR industry.  You can see the Recompose Wefunder pitch here.


When Spade first stepped into the spotlight with her ideas for natural organic reduction there were many who thought the idea was not a good one.  However, from my research doing this daily blog I find a growing number of consumers who have some type of “ecological bent” to their nature that makes this type of disposition very appealing to them.  As natural organic reduction is now legalized in six states, according to the Wefunder information, you can see the growth continuing to come.


The Wefunder pitch site will tell you that Recompose had successfully completed the natural organic reduction of about 250 people at this time and has pre-arrangements, or what they call Pre-Compose arrangements for 1300 more. . which represents about $7.6 million in future revenue.


In March the first national Body Composting Conference was held and hosted by The Natural Funeral.  Barbara Kemmis, Executive Director of CANA (the Cremation Association of North America) was in attendance.  In a published column she wrote this about the conference and those in attendance:  “. . . . the real lessons learned were from networking with attendees. This is an emerging movement and the early adopters and practitioners are as passionate about NOR as the founders of CANA were over a century ago.”


I found that an interesting comparison from a seasoned veteran in our profession.  Remember, in 1963, only sixty years ago, cremation was the chosen disposition method of only 3% of Americans.  It will be interesting to see what the future holds. . . but many times history does repeat itself.  Will the burgeoning “green movement” in death care, which includes green funerals and alkaline hydrolysis, catch on like the cremation wave did?


I find it interesting also that founder Katrina Spade in describing the movement, via a short video, in the Wefunder pitch has moved from a role of “asking for acceptance of natural organic reduction” to more of a position in which she touts it as a “better choice” than more conventional methods.  For instance she says in the video (we are) “addressing the broken funeral industry and re-imagining the death care experience”.


From my point of view, that type of statement alludes more confidence in the business aspects of the process than have been shown in the past.  But, with a $76 million valuation on an idea from ten years ago, she’s probably correct in showing that confidence.


More on NOR (an opinion) — “American Society has lost its way when dealing with death.”  The Telegraph (IL)


More news from the world of Death Care:  


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