In the five months since we launched Empathy, we have been able to support a wide range of bereaved families across every single state in the US. Families who need to deal with both grief and hundreds of hours of tiring bureaucracy—many of whom downloaded the Empathy app in the very first days after their loved one’s passing, when both the shock of the loss and the weight of the necessary tasks were most acute.
They came to us for everything from grief support, to understanding financial details of estates, and finding the right words when talking through family conflicts. They came to us, and we met them where they were, no matter what they needed.
In these last few months we’ve also formed strong partnerships with organizations from different industries that support the bereaved. Most recently, we announced our partnership with New York Life, the largest mutual life insurance provider in the US, to provide the Empathy app as a complimentary benefit along with families’ insurance payouts. Collaborations like this—along with our partnerships with organizations such as leading hospice chain Compassus and major funeral operator StoneMor—show that Empathy can bring value for stakeholders in other parts of the bereavement field, as they join us to bring holistic, technologically innovative, continuous support to the bereaved families they serve.
Today we’re humbled to announce Empathy’s $30 million Series A financing, ushering us into our next step on this journey with confidence. It paves the way for us to accelerate our work helping families deal with loss, advancing ever more crucial ways to guide and support them through all the challenges of this difficult time in their lives.
For us, that means really listening to our users, understanding the unique situations they find themselves in, and making sure our product meets them where they are, answering their needs and the needs of families facing similar challenges. Or building even more capabilities within our app that address these issues in even more comprehensive ways.
Our Series A paves the way for Empathy to accelerate our work helping families deal with loss, advancing ever more crucial ways to guide and support them.
One of these users was Michelle, a 71-year-old woman from Illinois, who had been depending on her late husband’s life insurance to keep her afloat, only to discover that the insurance company wouldn’t pay for several months. Our Care Specialist was able to get in touch with the right teams, staying on the insurance company’s case for weeks and multiple phone calls, eventually tearing through that red tape and cutting the time for Michelle’s payout in half.
Joseph, a recent widower in Texas, hadn’t gotten a full night of sleep in weeks. He found solace, he told us, in the grief audio episodes in the app, a friendly, comforting voice that accompanied him through his darkest hours. They also gave him another way of connecting with his daughters, as he shared this uplifting content alongside the more practical collaboration features they were using together in the app to settle their mother’s affairs.
These were only two among many others, ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges they never could have imagined only a short while ago. From figuring out how to transfer an IRA account to writing an obituary that is both moving and informative, to just taking the time to sit with their feelings of grief and feel them fully, our app gave each one a solution that was right for them, in their own time and on their own terms.
We are always stretching and advancing, so we can continue to show up for families and bring them what they need: Adding more tools to our app, ever more advanced and innovative solutions for the challenges bereaved families face, which take even more tasks out of their hands and do them for them. And finding new and better forms of support that help grievers make their own way through this difficult process, to really feel, and discover, and even make meaning from their loss.
As we grow and build, we will help more and more families when they need us the most. We will create spaces for them to connect with us, with experts in the field, and with one another, so that they can feel validated and give a voice to their experiences and their feelings, and find the tools and support they need both outside and within our app.
And as always, our north star is a vision of a world in which loss isn’t quite so hard, in which people feel supported even in their worst moments—and then to build the conditions for that world to exist.
My mom wasn’t just my mom. She was my best friend. But when I went to write her obituary, I froze. I felt like I was letting her down. In my grief, the words just didn’t come. The Care Specialist brainstormed with me, getting me to talk about my mom: her favorite holiday traditions, her prized possessions (she loved her Aerosmith concert tees). Then she walked me through an obituary writing tool and showed me how to invite family members to collaborate — I started writing and writing. I was so exhausted, and so relieved. And it was all on the page, everything that made mom so unforgettable.