A South African company has launched the world’s first full-service funeral arrangement app called Sendoff.
The new app aims to change what it calls the current “broken” way of arranging funerals in South Africa by digitising the entire experience.
“While there are already apps and websites that allow one to write obituaries, look up gravesites or send notifications, Sendoff is the first full service, digital funeral arranger,” said Sendoff CEO Zolani Matebese.
“From arranging for a loved one to be picked up from a home or hospital once they have passed on, to choosing a casket or urn, flowers, transport, catering, you can do everything via the app.”
The app comes with checklists detailing all the steps needed to properly plan a funeral and links to Sendoff’s website with a wealth of data around how to do anything related to a funeral.
Matebese explained the app would ease the reliving the trauma of a recent bereavement which typically involved calls and visits to funeral parlours.
Here, he said, people were funneled and pressure sold into “whatever service made sense for the funeral parlour at that time”.
“You never really know if you’re doing all the right things, how to compare offerings for value and it is a vulnerable, scary and traumatic process,” Matebese said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic many processes had moved online, while the process of organising one of the major outcomes of the pandemic – funerals – has remained stuck in the past.
“So many ground-breaking technologies were started in South Africa, we think Sendoff is continuing the tradition of solving huge societal issues with technology,” Matebese added.
Sendoff COO Thabisile Sethaba said people should think of Sendoff as the ‘Uber Black for funerals’, referring to the popular e-hailing app’s luxury vehicle option.
The app’s development was guided by the principle of putting the user first, which made it easy to use but powerful.
This, Sethaba said, would allow users to focus on a simple, reliable way to arrange any funeral process and let them focus on family, not admin.
“We work with a selection of fully vetted partners and use tried and tested project management principles to make sure the funeral service goes off without a hitch,” Sethaba said.
She elaborated on additional features of the app which included ordering groceries or sending flowers to the deceased’s family or arranging a catered event.
“Users working in a major City will be able to plan a funeral or send a loved one’s body to the rural areas,” she said.
The Sendoff app is now available on the Google Play Store and will be arriving on Apple App Store and Huawei AppGallery on 5 June 2021.
Nationwide availability is expected in September 2021.
The graphic below details some of the app’s main features.