June 16, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

Bereave wants employers to suck a little less when it comes to dealing with death

If death and taxes are inevitable, why are companies so prepared for taxes, but not for death?

“I lost my parents in college and at first it didn't spark this interest in starting a business based on my experience,” he said. Deprive co-founder Elijah Linder.

Immediately after the loss of Linder, founding a company would have been a long shot. But in 2020, when co-founder Matt Tyner's mother died, the two came up with the idea of ​​building something that might have made their experiences even a little less horrible.

“I had the entrepreneur bug; I just waited until I saw a problem and a mission worth pursuing,” Linder said.

Along with CEO Justin Clifford, the Indianapolis-based team conducted a series of interviews with people experiencing loss to get a better idea of ​​where they could make the biggest impact.

“In these conversations, people were saying, 'Here's who we lost, here's when we lost them.' And then they were like, 'This is how my manager reacted,'” Clifford told TechCrunch. “And it was like, 'Wait a minute, why are you talking about your manager right now?'”

It became clear to Bereave that people were struggling to overcome pain in the workplace. That's why Bereave created a B2B product to sell to employers, which they can offer to their employees in times of need. The platform catalogs resources for people experiencing loss and guides them through the steps to bring closure to a loved one. So far, the company has about 12 clients who pay an annual fee based on the number of employees they have: a company with 100 employees would pay $1,000 a year, while a company with 1,000 employees would pay $5,500.

“Most B2B death tech companies are very specific — they offer advice or maybe focus on one or two pieces of the puzzle,” Clifford said. “What we're trying to do is bring it all together to make sure there's a source for businesses.”

The mental toll of grief can be compounded by the overwhelming list of tasks to do when someone dies: Living relatives of the deceased have to deal with taxes, insurance cancellations, credit card and bank account transfers, wills, and more.

“The idea is that you don't necessarily have to think,” Clifford said. “You have a whole checklist in front of you.”

In a crisis, these types of checklists are invaluable, which is why this model exists in other HR products. tall poppya company that offers digital security guide For employees facing online harassment and hacking, it also uses step-by-step checklists.

Image credits: Deprive

Beyond providing a few days of bereavement leave and perhaps some counseling sessions, employers typically don't have much support in this area. So, on the employer side, Bereave offers resources outlining how to support an employee through a loss or what to do if an employee dies. These resources are also helpful to team members, including modules that explain how to talk sensitively about loss or even what type of food to provide to a grieving family.

“You're planning everything else in the business. What happens if someone goes on maternity leave or some other type of FMLA? Clifford said. “There are things that happen that are planned, and this is just not one of them.”

The decision to create software to sell to employers is a smart one. Human resources departments are more likely to seek out and pay for these types of resources than individuals, and as Bereave's founders learned in their research, it takes a while for the funeral industry to adapt to offerings like this. But it will be time before Bereave can become the service it aspires to be.

“We're in the middle of a fundraiser right now to be able to take that improvised system and turn it into enterprise-grade software, and really be able to talk automation to people and HR managers,” Clifford said. “So when these things happen, HR, teammates and managers can just execute them. “They don’t have to think about what to do.”

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