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RIP Digital Legacy Startups

In 2009 we founded The Digital Beyond as a way to spread awareness of digital afterlife issues and to provide expert guidance to companies and individuals. One constant feature of our site is our Online Services List, which has grown to 61 different companies offering digital estate planning or online memorial services.

Following a few emails over the last few weeks, I decided to verify and clean up our list. Of the 61 companies on the list, I deactivated 26 because their website was no longer functioning or displayed that the domain name was now for sale. If you pardon the pun, that’s a mortality rate of 42%.

The low rate of survival among these companies is not terribly surprising, as we’ve learned that many consumers do not see value in paying for digital afterlife planning services. One of the more successful services, SecureSafe, was previously known as DataInherit, rebranded in October, 2011 ostensibly to expand beyond digital afterlife services, into a broader personal data market. I credit their survival in the space to their efforts to re-focus their product in 2011.

Of the 26 companies that are now defunct, I should recognize that three are due to acquisitions. SecureSafe acquired Entrustet in April, 2012 and LifeEnsured in July, 2012. Legacy Locker was acquired by PasswordBox in November, 2013.

Other companies on the defunct list include AssetLock, E-Z-Safe, EstateLogic, Eternity Message, Futuristk, GreatGoodbye, if i die.org, Legacy Organiser, Life Document Storage, LifeStory.com, Lifestrand, Memorial Gardens, MemoValley, MentoMori, My Last Email, My Web Will, and MyInternetData.

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