Augmentum leads £7.5m fundraising for online will-writing firm

By Roger Baird on Monday 21 January 2019

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

The venture capital firm makes its first investment of the year along with other high profile backers, dmg ventures and SAATCHiNVEST.

Venture capital firm Augmentum Fintech is leading a £7.5m fundraising for online will-writing firm Farewill, which “aims to be the first major consumer brand in death services”.

London-based Farewill offers online will-writing, will management and probate services, and calls itself an “all-in-one financial and legal services platform for dealing with death”.

Augmentum said it will put £4m into the business that will also see other notable investors back the firm in a series A fundraising, which include Kindred Capital, dmg ventures, owned by the Daily Mail’s DMGT, and SAATCHiNVEST, set up by advertising gurus Charles and Maurice Saatchi.

Farewill, led by co-founder and chief executive Dan Garrett, said it will use the cash to boost staff numbers.

The business, launched in 2015, said its “customers benefit from having a specialist at the end of a phone or live chat, at any time of the day, seven days a week”.

Augmentum, which specialises in funding digital financial start-ups, raised £94m when it debuted on the London Stock Exchange last March, and is one of the most active investors in UK fintech.

Augmentum Fintech co-founder and principal of Capital Tim Levene said: “Securing pre and post-death services is an archaic and painful process. There is little competition in a sector untouched by digital, with inefficiencies and pricing that reflect these market characteristics. There is a considerable opportunity in this space where Farewill are incredibly well positioned”.

This is Augmentum’s first investment of the year. Last September it made a £2.5m investment in UK-based residential rent-to-own specialist Unmortgage, as part of a larger £10m fundraising.

The venture capital business also has stakes in range of high-profile digital businesses such as Zopa, Seedrs, Interactive Investors and Monese.

Analysts at investment bank Liberum estimate that Augmentum has "about £40m" of cash for investment after the Farewill transaction.

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