Fair By Design & GC Angels back death tech start-up Guardian Angel in £1.1m seed round
Guardian Angel is a London and Manchester-based death tech company that helps people plan for and manage death.
This round brings Guardian Angel’s total funding to £1.6m in the last 24 months.
The £1.1m is an Early Seed Round led by impact investor Fair By Design, who view them as part of their mission to tackle the poverty premium. Fair by Design are joining institutional investors Ascension Ventures, GC Angels, Accelerated Digital Ventures and key angel investors like Andrew Weisz (early Hopin investor) and Rod Bulmer (an ex-CEO at Co-op Group).
Guardian Angel was founded by former finance professional Sam Grice, after his mother’s death from a road accident.
Sam said: “On top of the obvious grief and shock, I discovered that the end-of-life industry was expensive and difficult to navigate, especially in an intensely emotional time. The industry had been largely untouched by technological innovation and needed to rapidly modernise.”
COVID-19 has put death at the forefront of people’s minds, with demand for this solution increasing by 400% during the last year. 1 in 4 people in the UK have had a family member, and/or close friend become seriously unwell because of COVID-19. This has resulted in increased awareness and urgency to end-of-life planning, however, products like Life Insurance remain in decline. Guardian Angel aims to solve that.
The investment will largely be used to help Guardian Angel respond to the UK’s growing desire to plan ahead and protect the people and things most important to them. They have launched a beta product which is the first online consolidated death planning tool – covering everything from wills and life insurance to post-death support. This tool, which already has close to 3,000 users, helps people navigate this complex process at a fraction of the cost.
This product is supported by large insurance and tech industry players Berkshire Hathaway’s GenRe and Covea Insurance. The funding round will also be used to help with the expansion of its Manchester-based development team which it is hoping to double over the next twelve months.
Guardian Angel distributes their products directly to consumers and via business partnerships. They currently have around 100 partners distributing their services. This includes some of the country’s largest charities, funeral directors and employers.
Guardian Angel’s Founder, Sam Grice said: “We’re thrilled that this new round of funding will allow us to help more people navigate the messy world of planning for death. Sorting these things early makes things significantly easier for the people left behind after someone dies. I wish my family had access to something like this, and as a team we’re proud to be offering more accessible and affordable planning tools to more people.”
Jess Jackson, Head of Investment at GC Angels, said: “GC Angels was drawn to Guardian Angel by Sam’s real passion to make a difference in an industry that so many have a negative experience with. Death tech is an area ripe for disruption, but also an area that many are afraid to approach. The team at Guardian Angel are committed to changing this. This funding round will support Guardian Angel to grow its development team in Manchester and further develop its death planning tool. That they have chosen Manchester to expand in is testament to the talented tech community we have here and I’m looking forward to seeing how the team goes on to support people across the country during such a difficult time.”