Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Safiri Salama: A Kenyan Startup Helping People Arrange Funerals Online

SafiriSalama.com is a Kenyan death tech start-up and Africa’s first end-of-life platform that allows people to make funeral arrangements online.

The digital death care platform offers digital death notices, memorials, funeral arrangements, and a directory of funeral services, including online obituaries and social media tributes.

The platform also allows people to outline their end-of-life wishes defying the traditional methods where people relied on handwritten wishes in books that are usually at high risk of distortion.

SafiriSalama.com, which takes its name from the Swahili words “Safiri Salama,” which translates to “Go in Peace,” is venturing into a territory few others in Africa have explored.

Also Read: Google Launches 465 Million for Startup Black Founders Fund for Africa

“Africans tend to avoid discussions about death or end-of-life planning. This lack of knowledge creates an opportunity for exploitation, as people are uninformed and emotionally vulnerable when a loved one passes away. No other business deals with such a vulnerable group,’’ said John Nyongesa, the Founder and CEO.

The platform’s birth was influenced by various factors in the Kenyan funeral industry, which have remained unaddressed despite a high level of technology usage in Africa’s Silicon Savannah.

This includes unclear and user-friendly systems for bereaved families, an issue that has seen many Kenyans fall prey to inconsistent pricing, unclear industry standards, and difficulty distinguishing between competitors.

Safarisalama.com notes that grieving families face difficulty conducting proper research and often “pressure buy” due to a lack of published prices in the funeral industry. In addition, the primary form of advertising in this sector is through word of mouth and reputation.

“In this “state of flux,” bereaved families are hugely disadvantaged. You can buy a toothpick online but can’t track a coffin seller. That’s ridiculous,’’ added Nyongesa.

Through its digital products, the group aims to provide an ecosystem that connects players in the Kenyan funeral industry, whose worth is estimated at USD 450 million (56 billion shillings) annually.

Among the platform’s three digital products is “The Redbook,” a B2B & B2C product and services online directory that connects verified service providers in the funeral/grief industry with families.

Also Read: Kenyan Startup tops regional tech competition

It features over 50 categories of direct, indirect, and accessory providers. The group also offers a product for funeral service vendors’ where they can subscribe to showcase products, pricing, and stock availability.

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