Solace Secures $1.75 Million in Seed Funding to Support Continued Expansion into Key Markets
The startup, which has reimagined the funeral industry as cremation services continue to gain popularity, is on target to triple its growth in 2021
June 2, 2021 (Portland, Ore.) – Solace, the innovative direct cremation startup that melds digital convenience with a caring, human-centered approach, announced today its seed capital raise of $1,745,000. The oversubscribed funding round was led by Portland-based Rogue Venture Partners. Other investors include Cascade Seed Fund (Bend, Ore.) and Alliance of Angels (Seattle).
Solace plans to use the funds to support geographic expansion, as well as improved digital infrastructure and key hires.
“Solace is just the type of industry disruptor that we work well with. They are using the power of design thinking to build a better consumer experience that is simple, modern and transparent,” said Tom Sperry, managing partner at Rogue Venture Partners.
“We are excited to work with the Solace team as they create an elevated digital experience for funeral services,” said Robert Pease, managing director of Cascade Seed Fund. “Innovation in the industry has lagged, and we believe there is a huge digital transformation opportunity there.”
Solace was started in April 2019 by two former Nike executive creative directors, Keith Crawford and David Odusanya, whose experiences with the death of loved ones inspired them to apply their innovative, consumer experience-driven design expertise to the funeral industry.
Originally available in the Portland metro area, Solace has expanded its cremation service to Seattle and, most recently, Los Angeles County, the largest cremation market in the United States. In 2020, the company grew by 200%, and it now serves as many families in one month as a median funeral home does in one year. Solace is currently on target to triple its growth in 2021. Across the markets that it serves, it is one of the most-reviewed and highest-rated direct cremation services on Google.
“We are thrilled to have received this level of interest and funding, which exceeded our initial ask,” said Keith Crawford, CEO of Solace. “Rogue Venture Partners, Cascade Seed Fund, Alliance of Angels and a roster of amazing angel investors all recognize the potential in Solace and the opportunity to transform the funeral industry. We’ve proven ourselves over the last two years with demonstrated growth while reducing costs, plus outstanding consumer reviews, and we’re excited to look ahead to our next stage of growth. We wouldn’t be here without the support of our early investors.”
Added Crawford, “We are really pleased to have Rogue Venture Partners leading this round of funding. They’ve already shown themselves to be great collaborators and innovative thought partners. They have a wealth of experience with early-stage disruptive technology companies, and we look forward to working together.”
Disrupting an Outdated Business Model
The U.S. funeral business—a $28 billion industry—has changed little over the last century, continuing to rely on an analog model. Solace has reimagined the West Coast funeral industry with its innovative, online-based model—offering convenient, compassionate online cremation services with a human-centered approach. Its innovative model meets current consumer preferences on two fronts. Its online-based service appeals to consumers who prefer the ease and convenience of doing things online, and an increasing number of people are choosing cremation services over traditional funerals. Cremation services in the U.S. are growing by 3% to 5% each year.
Tech-driven does not mean impersonal, however. Solace makes the experience of arranging for a cremation simple, caring, transparent and convenient while remaining highly personal. The mobile-friendly business includes a less-than-5-minute arrangement process and access to the Solace Care Team, a professional, compassionate group of experienced industry veterans available to assist customers at all times. Solace helps clients take care of all the details, including paperwork and transportation, while partnering with best-in-class industry veterans to provide cremation services.
Customers pay one flat fee of $895, compared to $1,665, the average cost of cremation service on the West Coast. There are no surprises and no add-on fees. The fee includes 24/7 concierge-style customer service; funeral director and staff; assistance with paperwork; transportation of the deceased; cremation; return of cremated remains; and all necessary permits and fees.
To learn more, visit solacecares.com.
About Solace Cremation
Solace Cremation is a licensed funeral establishment providing modern cremation care balanced with a human approach. With services that are easy to understand, transparently priced and delivered with a personal touch, Solace provides concierge-level support that puts the focus on the family’s needs. The Solace Care Team is available 24/7 to provide professional, compassionate care and helpful answers. Co-founded by Keith Crawford and David Odusanya, Solace has offices in Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles (CA FD License Number 2413) and Portland, Ore. Every Solace cremation is carbon neutral through a partnership with Carbonfund.org. SolaceCares.com