SAN FRANCISCO, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Passare, Inc. today announced the official launch of the company, which will transform both the way funeral homes will operate in the 21(st) century and the service experience for families. The industry's first and most comprehensive End-of-Life Management Platform, Passare connects families with resources and a network of trusted service provider partners. Elevating the family experience to unprecedented new heights, the company's online collaboration solution uniquely enables families to virtually manage logistics and seamlessly communicate and collaborate with family members, friends, and funeral providers.
TRANSFORMING THE FAMILY EXPERIENCE
Passare's End-of-Life Management Platform was designed specifically to facilitate one of the most time-consuming and stress-inducing aspects of the End-of-Life process: planning and managing final events and services. The company also streamlines logistics by connecting families to Passare's network of funeral homes and complementary service providers who offer products and services ranging from flowers to guest accommodations and transportation. Providing a full range of End-of-Life resources, Passare eases the emotional, financial, and logistical burden by facilitating difficult conversations and decisions and guiding families through one of life's most important passages.
Passare is revolutionizing the way funeral homes operate their businesses to help them remain relevant and competitive. The company's fast-growing network of independent funeral homes and service providers enables the highly fragmented industry to coalesce into a cohesive, vertical marketplace and drive new value-creating opportunities.
By joining Passare's nationwide network, funeral homes can magnify their online marketing reach and connect to families who are increasingly using the Internet. Equally as important, with Passare's End-of-Life Management Platform, funeral directors can retain their "high touch" professional service while greatly enhancing the family experience--from first call to final service to family aftercare. Enabling interactive case management and other value-added services, the solution boosts competitiveness by providing a strong point of differentiation. Accessible from any laptop, tablet, or mobile device, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution seamlessly integrates with existing funeral home websites without the need for additional hardware or software.
"In industry after industry, we've seen new market entrants--from eBay to Amazon--leverage technology to change the value equation, whether by creating a new marketplace or re-inventing the customer experience," commented Charles Picasso, founder and CEO of Passare. "Similarly, we want to help independent funeral homes position themselves for success by enabling them to enhance their business practices and transform the family experience. With Passare, they can thrive in the face of a rapidly changing competitive landscape."
SHIFTING CONSUMER PREFERENCES, NEW COMPETITIVE REALITIES
The genesis of the company was born out of an industry-commissioned market study that revealed growing dissatisfaction with the industry's tradition-bound practices. Among the findings, the study showed that close to half of Americans were dissatisfied with funeral services overall. This consumer frustration largely stemmed from demographic shifts, as younger generations are increasingly relying on the Internet for researching, collaborating, and purchasing. Today's families are also increasingly mobile and geographically dispersed, adding to the challenge of managing logistics with funeral directors and loved ones.
The US funeral and death care market is a $20 billion industry that is continuing to undergo dramatic change. Despite these changes, independent funeral homes have largely been slow to adapt to new competitive realities. Among the challenges: industry consolidation and the rapid growth of large publicly traded competitors and conglomerates as well as steadily rising cremation rates, which are driving commoditization.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that our industry is undergoing dramatic change. As we've seen in other marketplaces, the most successful companies are the ones that have learned to adapt and evolve to better serve the needs of their consumers," said Gary Freytag, president and CEO of Ohio-based Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. "Passare's game-changing End-of-Life Management Platform represents a significant step forward in the evolution of our industry. Now, independent funeral homes can greatly enhance their online marketing efforts and build even stronger relationships with a new generation of families."
STRONG INDUSTRY SUPPORT, GROWING MOMENTUM PROVIDES RUNNING START
To date, Passare has secured approximately $6 million in funding, with the majority seeded organically from within the industry. Initial investors include a syndicate of highly respected independent funeral homes, in addition to the Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC), one of the industry's most respected service providers and networks. Management reported strong customer momentum leading up to the official launch of the company, with more than 200 funeral home locations across the country already committed to Passare's network.
"We decided to invest in Passare because it was evident that their disruptive solution--capable of creating tremendous value for both families and funeral homes--is the path forward to catalyze industry change," said Kris Seale, president and CEO of FDLIC. "In addition to offering the most comprehensive and compelling vision, we also saw a veteran team, led by a seasoned technology executive, with a proven track record and ability to execute on that vision."
Passare, Inc. is the industry's first and most comprehensive End-of-Life Management Platform. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, the privately held company is leveraging technology to transform both the way funeral homes will operate in the 21(st) century and the service experience for families. Passare eases the emotional, financial, and logistical burden on families by guiding them through one of life's most important passages with greater simplicity and peace of mind. For more information, please visit www.passare.com.
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