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Digital legacy management company GoodTrust, which can take care of your digital assets after you die, has now raised $2.3 million in funding.
Rikard Steiber founded the company after friends died during the pandemic and he saw family members struggle to complete tasks like closing social media accounts, securing photos, and dealing with financial services accounts.
With GoodTrust, you can set up an account that will take care of your digital affairs after you die. That might sound ghoulish to some, but we don’t want to leave our loved ones with a big mess. GoodTrust’s platform protects your memories and digital assets, including accounts, photos, social media, financial data, and documents.
Seed-round investors include Bling Capital, Synetro Ventures, and Azure Capital Partners. Silicon Valley angel investors who participated include Nikesh Arora; Bobby Lo; Christian Wiklund; and current and former Google executives Scott Levitan, Arjan Dijk, Tony Fagan, Jori Pearsall, and Gopi Kallayil.
In an email to VentureBeat, Steiber said the company partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Veterans Day to offer all veterans free usage of the GoodTrust Premium Plan and a copy of the company’s book, Digital Legacy.
GoodTrust’s $40 account helps families that have lost someone take care of their loved one’s digital account (e.g. delete LinkedIn, memorialize Facebook, or extract Google Photos). The company can also secure a digital legacy (accounts, social media, documents, last goodbyes, etc.) via a subscription service at $70 a year.
“The most popular thing now is that people realize their digital assets and priceless memories will be lost if they do not take action,” Steiber said. “As a result, we have good traction with people adding their digital assets — i.e. everything from their phone pin code, online accounts (financial, email, photos) — and important documents (their will, life insurance, contracts) and sharing this with their partner/family members. In the GoodTrust service, digital assets can be shared either right now or you set that they can be shared only after you passed away. GoodTrust is like life insurance for your digital assets and memories.”
There are other services that cover some of the same ground, but Palo Alto, California-based GoodTrust tries to handle all of the legal, financial, and emotional legacies heirs typically have to deal with.
The service can lock down more than 100 sites. In more expensive cases, it can even get court orders to gain access to accounts that require such measures. The company can also handle Facebook memorialization for first responders and their families at no cost.
In a 2020 survey, GoodTrust found 90% of U.S. adults do not know what happens to their digital assets (emails, photos, social media, online banking, sites/passwords) when they pass away, and 84% said they would use a secure online service to transition those assets when they die.
Around the world, 150,000 people die every day. While each tragedy affects loved ones on a personal level, it also means the number of deceased people on the internet is growing fast.
You can designate and share access with loved ones and other trusted third parties to organize your digital afterlife. GoodTrust also recently launched new features, including Last Goodbyes to create a time capsule with an email, social post, or video that can be shared after someone passes away.
Beyond the task of tracking down sites you never knew existed, shuttering an account on someone else’s behalf is made more complicated by legal requirements that vary from site to site. Retrieving personal photos from a loved one’s account on Google, Apple, or Facebook requires expert legal knowledge and a court order. Those companies aren’t trying to make a survivor’s life hard. Just think of the consequences if they turned over an account to someone claiming to be a survivor when the “deceased” person was still alive.
Even if the family is aware of all of their loved one’s online accounts, most families are overwhelmed by the process. But when these accounts lie idle, the individual’s information is at risk of being lost forever or even hacked.
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