Beyond, the UK’s only price comparison website for funeral services, announced an investment round of £2m million, which took place in February. The company, which used to be known as Funeralbooker, will use this investment to drive customer acquisition for its growing portfolio of after life services, and today also announces the launch of its rebranded website.
The funding round was led by Talis Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, focused on early-stage technology companies. Beyond’s existing investors, including White Cloud Capital, also participated in the round.
Beyond began offering customers funeral director price comparison services and now partners with over 1,000 independent funeral directors in the UK, representing around 30% of independent directors. From there, the company expanded its service offering to include funeral financing, estate administration and funeral pre-plans. Most recently in March, the Company launched a new product that allows anyone in England or Wales to write a simple will, online, for free.
This round of funding for Beyond comes as the UK government announces an investigation into the funeral sector, following the publication of a short-sell report from Beyond on Dignity PLC, which is generally held responsible by commentators for wiping over 60% (£1bn) from Dignity’s Market Cap.
Ian Strang, Founder/CEO of Beyond said “The funeral market has long failed the consumer and we’re hard at work fixing it. If even 5% of people arranging a funeral or writing a will used our services, the annual saving would be over £1bn. This funding round will give us the ability to get our message out there to the public and change attitudes about shopping around for what is, after all, an inevitable purchase for us all.”
Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis said “Beyond is a dynamic business with a truly unique proposition, which offers consumers transparency and choice in an often-opaque marketplace. With its innovative platform and inspiring leadership team, we believe that Beyond will continue to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted to partner with them as they embark on their next phase of growth.”
Ian Strang, added “It’s great to have an investor like Talis involved because of their deep expertise in the technology sector and experience of working with consumer-facing brands, as well as to enjoy the continued support of White Cloud” he added.”
Heard of Beyond for the first time today, 27 Jan 2019. Is its role limited to information about comparative costs of using a range of commercial services or does it also include how to minimise or avoid the need to use those services? Is its role limited to the comparative costs of dependency, even when that can be avoided, with appropriate education and information? Put another way, does the protection and promotion of health and welfare, through independence of thought and action, play any part in your functions? That is the legal duty of the NHS but it isn’t a commercial service. It is also the implicit if not explicit legal duty of social services, e.g. with the DoH’s name change to the Department of Health & Social Care.