Eirene raises $4.1-million seed round to simplify end-of-life solutions

Funding will support Eirene’s expansion into the US.

Toronto-based software startup Eirene has closed $4.1 million CAD in seed funding as it looks to help provide more families with online cremation solutions.

The seed round was led by Relay Ventures, with participation from Export Development Canada and Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, and brings Eirene’s total funding to $5 million. These new investors join existing backers Michael Katchen, co-founder of Wealthsimple, and Manica Blain of Top Knot Ventures, who participated in the startup’s pre-seed round.

“There has been very little change in how the industry delivers its services in the past 100 years.”

Its new seed funding will be used to scale Eirene’s platform, with a focus on its US expansion, building its brand, and hiring new team members. 

Founded in 2019, Eirene has developed a tech platform aimed at offering families who have lost loved ones with simple and affordable end-of-life solutions, such as funerals and cremation services.

According to Dignity Memorial, in 2021, the average funeral in Canada cost $9,150, and can sometimes run as high as $20,000. Cremation services are also particularly expensive, often setting families back up to $6,000, according to the startup.

Eirene claims its cremation services cost less than half what traditional funeral homes charge while still providing the same level of customer service and support. According to its website, the startup offers a cremation package for $2,700 that includes funeral director services, transfer, cremation, delivery, proof of death certifications, an online obituary, and several other services.

In addition to traditional cremation, the startup also offers aquamation—a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation that uses water.

“Today, over 75 percent of Canadians and over 60 percent of Americans are choosing cremation. However, there has been very little change in how the industry delivers its services in the past 100 years,” said Mallory Greene, co-founder and CEO of Eirene. “We’re filling a gap to provide a relevant and innovative solution for families.”

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Prior to starting Eirene, Greene served as head of corporate social responsibility at Wealthsimple, while co-founder and CTO Faisal Abid worked at Canadian tech organizations like League, Zoom.ai, and BrainStation.

The company currently offers its services in five Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. With the new funding, it will expand to the United States, starting with Florida. 

The startup said the funeral services industry is worth over $20 million USD in the US, adding that its choice to start in Florida was motivated by the fact that there are higher densities of people living near the coast.

“Eirene is leveraging their technology-enabled platform to disrupt a traditional brick and mortar industry, which positions Eirene at the forefront of transforming the customer experience,” said Kevin Talbot, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures.

Feature image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by Jason Leung.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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