Cremation Borrows a Page From the Direct-to-Consumer Playbook

Jan 27, 2023

The New York Times: Also in 2019, a major operator of funeral homes, Foundation Partners Group, bought the start-up Tulip Cremation, which today is active in eight states. It has deep pockets behind it: Foundation Partners Group’s parent company is the private equity firm Access Holdings, which said last year that it was investing $150 million in improving the tech side of the funeral business.

The pitch, to consumers and investors, boils down to convenience and price. The companies point to the growing number of Americans who live away from home as a target demographic.

“It wouldn’t be that uncommon to see an older parent pass in Florida, for example, while their children live somewhere up in the Northeast,” said Mike Doyle, Tulip’s general manager. That doesn’t mean people will automatically turn to an online start-up. Many families have visited the same funeral homes for generations, and it will take more than a little bit of inconvenience to get customers to sign up.