In the years since, at least three companies have sprung up in Washington alone, some of which have received millions from venture capital firms. And with more territory to cover, entrepreneurs say the industry is more vibrant than ever.
So far, at least six states have legalized the procedure, and the most populous California will allow human fertilization in 2027 after a law passed last year went into effect, opening the door for millions of new customers.
“In Washington, where human fertilization has been legal for some time, the industry is concentrated and highly competitive,” Truman said. But I’m sure everyone is going to go to California and do pushups as soon as it opens.
The marketing of alternative death care is creating tension in an industry built on an already overcrowded product. It’s hard to get people to talk about death, much less invest in it. This leaves death care entrepreneurs and green death advocates struggling to balance altruistic goals with the needs of startup culture, said Kathleen Doughty, a mortuary and author of several books on the death and funeral industry.
“There’s a new connection between the ritual surrounding death in human fertilization and its dramatic appeal to Silicon Valley,” she said. “It’s an amazing development.”
With a traditional funeral market of $20 billion, it’s no surprise that new technologies are capturing the interest of tech investors. In the year A 2019 survey from the Funeral Directors Association found that nearly 52 percent of Americans expressed interest in green burial options, and experts predicted that a new market opened up by legalization efforts in Massachusetts, Illinois, California and New York could create a new market. Value in the $1 billion range.
There is a growing market in the so-called “death positive” generations, Gen Z and millennials – more willing to discuss afterlife plans and try green options at a younger age. Startups are adding to the event by taking to social media: Homecoming has more than 617,000 followers on TikTok, with staff asking “What happens to a hip replacement in the human fertilization process?” When answering the questions. and “How does it smell during the process?”
Human fertilization is not the only dying care option, with increasing demand. Others include aquamation, a process legal in 28 states where body parts are turned into a liquid and then into a powder. Green burial, where the body is left unburied or mixed in a casket and allowed to decompose over time, is legal in almost all states, but laws vary depending on where the body is buried.
But of all the alternatives, human fertilization seems to have gotten the most attention, Doughty said.
“I see the composting area as competitive in a way that I have never seen before [processes] Like aquamation, or even cremation,” she said. “It seems to be unique at the intersection of climate change policy and new technology that appeals to Silicon Valley ethics.”
Focus on ethics
The environmental benefits of alternative death care have become a big selling point for companies as green investments go up. Transcend, a New York-based green burial startup that promises to turn human remains into trees after death, highlights its mission of mass reforestation and ecological burial in its announcement: “Every tree grave creates a healthy foundation.” All life on earth.”
Its founder and CEO Matthew Cockman has a Silicon Valley background, he considers himself one of the first employees at Uber. He says he came to the death care industry after considering the spiritual nature of funeral options.