Data is the new oil, and commercial enterprises recognized it already. So, when a social media user passes away, their accounts are retained and memorialized. While it is seen as proof of sentiment for a deceased user, it is actually the platform’s strategy to maintain platform traffic. The traffic invited by a user’s demise is traffic that a platform sells to its advertisers (Facebook 2016).
Besides tech giants like Twitter and Google, there’s a noticeable surge in startups serving the Digital Afterlife Industry (DAI) over the last ten years. These startups either capitalize on the digital remains of a deceased Internet user or act as a prosthetic extension of the life of a deceased Internet user.
Rude as it may sound, the Digital Afterlife Industry is at least some hope for a dying person looking for someone to act on their wishes that they can’t fulfill anymore. It could be as simple as sending handwritten letters to a beloved or ensuring the financial and emotional safety of one’s children. So let’s take a dive.
Afternote is an online business founded by Bianca de Witte in 2013 that allows users to plan for unforeseen circumstances and guarantees their unique life story continues. It allows one to express their funeral desires, preserves digital legacy, and sends goodbye notes to family and friends. All the information is kept private and confidential for as long as you live, and it will be available to your loved ones after you pass away.
Bcelebrated, founded by Debra Joy in 2009, allows individuals to establish a multi-media portal that will eventually become their memorial webpage. Members can create private profiles for dear ones that are password-protected, record their final wishes, and designate a charity to collect money on their behalf. When a member dies, the service sends out automated email notifications and gives a list of phone numbers for individuals who need to be contacted.
Directive Communication Systems
CEO and Founder of Directive Communication Systems (DCS), Lee Poskanzer, developed a comprehensive personal account management system for estate planners and personal representatives. When the time arrives, DCS collaborates with accounts to carry out an estate’s ultimate desires, which may involve deletion, transfer, memorialization, or other directives. With DCS, you can securely manage your accounts and your estate administration efficiently.
Co-founded by Richard Paskin and Larry Anspach in 2000, Funeralwise is an extensive online resource committed to assisting individuals in planning, celebrating, and remembering their funerals. Free interactive funeral planning tools, pricing calculators, and search directories are available on the website to assist users in making informed decisions and keeping expenses under control while selecting funeral products and services.
Founded in 2007, Karen Zinn developed this website after witnessing two deaths in her friends’ circle. Zinn believes every end-of-life celebration should be as individual as the person being honored, and Heart2Soul combines all of the alternatives in one location on the Internet. Whether you are looking for methods to help a friend or arranging a funeral or memorial, their more than 125 unique ideas have been carefully considered and researched.
Co-founded in 2015, Sahar Ismail and Michael Lester developed LegacyArmour. This platform allows banks, insurance firms, legal firms, professional employment agencies, investment companies, military organizations, and others to securely store and organize their clients’ digital assets in internet-based vaults and automatically communicate useful data with their designated recipients.
Established in 2017 and founded by Albert Brückmann, Meminto is a digital archiving platform and social security system. Meminto writes your personal story, stores memories, notifies your loved ones about your health state, and much more while you arrange your digital afterlife. Meminto aspires to be a global standard for preserving yourself and your legacy.
My Goodbye Message
Founded in 2013, My Goodbye Message is an interactive application that enables you to write personal messages to be delivered in your absence. My Goodbye Message is more than just a way to send letters when you are no longer present. It’s like having your digital memory box. The platform offers you to express, share your thoughts, emotions, accomplishments, and anything else you want people to know.
Created and developed in 2014 by Moran Zur, SafeBeyond is a digital time capsule. SafeBeyond is a high-end legacy management service. The platform offers a cutting-edge online and mobile app solution for the convenient and effective maintenance of your personal experiences and valuable online content, as well as expanded distribution options for a future personalized message and digital asset delivery.
When I Leave
Brandon NA, the CEO & Founder of When i Leave (WiL), developed this platform in 2020 after years of contemplation. WheniLeave.com is essentially a permanent haven to store life’s most treasured moments. On this platform, users can create messages forever for their loved ones and assign trustees. Trustees are individuals who will inform the company about one’s passing away and send out letters or notes as per the individual’s wishes.
So, here we are curious to know which one of the above startups and its services resonated the most with you? It almost sounds like the infamous tagline of Life Insurance Corporation of India, Zindagi Ke Saath Bhi, Zindagi Ke Baad Bhi (With life, afterlife). Whatever this digital afterlife industry may capitalize on, however sad and gross it might be, it surely helps every loner.