£800k County Durham bereavement tech startup set to expand with support from North East innovation specialist
A County Durham based tech startup that eases the administrative burden left with bereaved families has set its sights on expansion, after receiving support from North East innovation specialists.
Settld has secured over £800k for its end-of-life admin platform, which automates bereavement notifications to over 750 companies from banks to social media players. By digitising the process, Settld reduces the admin stress often left with grieving families and the professionals who support them.
Founded in February 2020, the company is the brainchild of mother and daughter, Julie and Vicky Wilson, from Seaham, who were inspired to launch the business following the passing of Vicky’s late grandmother.
Julie said: “The entire process of dealing with my mother-in-law’s estate left us incredibly frustrated at a time when we were grieving. For someone who led such a simple life - without as much as even an online presence - the process took so much time and unnecessary effort. It felt never-ending.
“It took over two months in total and once we’d finally settled everything, Vicky floated the idea of developing our own solution. Throughout her career, she’d held senior roles in marketing, product development and logistics for big tech companies and I’d spent the past few years working as a business advisor.”
After crafting a comprehensive business plan and outlining their plans for the platform, the pair were accepted onto the North East SME Innovation Programme – managed by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) – and tapped into support from RTC North and the ERDF-backed Arrow Project at Newcastle University.
This support, as well as grants totalling over £185k from Innovate UK, provided the pair with everything they needed to officially launch Settld.
Fast-forward 18 months, and the company is supporting families nationwide; has grown to a team of ten and has closed a £500k seed funding round, led by SFC Capital, as it looks to go global with its pioneering platform.
Julie added: “The support we’ve received from each of the organisations has been fantastic, and the Innovation Programme really helped us to tap into the early-stage funding required to explore the feasibility of the technology and bring the idea to life.
Gillian Middleton said: “Settld is an incredible business and we are delighted to have been able to support them on their journey. Not only have they developed an innovative solution that is transforming the way we do business, but it is also transforming people’s lives and is a fantastic success story for the North East.”
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