Israeli start-up raises $13m. to assist grieving families

The company, Empathy, designed an app to guide "families through the logistical and emotional complexities experienced with loss," Empathy said in a statement.

LAILA MOURNS as she holds a picture of her daughter Rola Yacoub, north of Beirut on February 21, 2014. Family said Yacoub was beaten to death by her husband in front of their children the previous year; he was later released. A few thousand people then took to the streets of the Lebanese capital in  (photo credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR / REUTERS)
LAILA MOURNS as she holds a picture of her daughter Rola Yacoub, north of Beirut on February 21, 2014. Family said Yacoub was beaten to death by her husband in front of their children the previous year; he was later released. A few thousand people then took to the streets of the Lebanese capital in
(photo credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR / REUTERS)
An Israeli tech start-up raised $13 million in a seed funding round to assist grieving families after losing a loved one.
The company, Empathy, designed an app to guide "families through the logistical and emotional complexities experienced with loss," Empathy said in a statement.
While the emotional toll of a loss is significant, the logistical nightmare of funeral arrangements, validating wills, account cancellations, estate administration, benefit claims and property clean-out. The hope of the app is to free up families with the time to grieve, instead of dealing with logistical issues.
"It’s the inherent optimism of human nature that causes us to avoid talking about death,” said Co-Founder & CEO of Empathy Ron Gura. "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," Gura added. "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 app provides both technological and human support to provide users with a digital companion to navigate through the immediate future after a loss in the family - automating processes, simplifying steps, making informed decisions and avoiding common mistakes.
The app will also personalize the experience for each family to ensure there is not an excess of information presented. Emotional and practical support are also available for users.
“The end-of-life industry is a large sector that has been untouched by the wave of digital transformation occurring in every other industry,” said Co-Founder and Managing Director at General Catalyst Joel Cutler. “Empathy is unique in that it addresses both the emotional and logistical anguish of loss.  
"We believe this is the technology and experience that can greatly benefit every family.”
“The Empathy team is directing their vast experience in consumer software to significantly improve how people handle the burdens that come with death,” said Co-Founder and Equal Partner at Aleph Michael Eisenberg. “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.”