South African Entrepreneur Launches Funeral App

The death of a loved one can be a very sad loss event. Also, it’s time to do the math.

In South Africa, processions honoring loved ones to their final resting places, while still mourning and carrying out cultural responsibilities, are often overwhelming. Relatives and friends who are mourning still need to be served while the bereaved family still has to go about their routine activities.

Not to mention the affairs of arranging funeral ceremonies. Various choices must be made. Among other things, what kind of coffin will be agreed upon by the family, whether the deceased will be buried or cremated, what mourners will eat after the funeral, or, how to share duties fairly among bereaved family members.

The application “Sendoff” seeks to answer these questions. “Sendoff” promises a place to complete all funeral-related arrangements, just by pressing the selection button. Its users can plan funerals for their families wherever they are. The app is free to download for iOS or Android systems and with a single touch, the process can start immediately.

Zolani Matebese, CEO and founder "Sendoff" (IG:senoffapps)

Zolani Matebese, CEO and pendiri “Sendoff” (IG: senoffapps)

Zolani Matebese, CEO and founder of “Sendoff” explains, “It’s the same way we book a place to stay on Airbnb. The same process goes through with ‘Sendoff’. For example, we download an app, search for the service or package we want. We choose it. and we can choose based on the service provider (vendor), we can choose based on price, we can choose based on location. But clearly, we choose what we want.”

Matebese said the idea for the app came from his frustration with planning the funeral of a family member. He had to go through one service provider at a time regarding funeral arrangements before he could finally find what he was looking for at the right price.

He said “Sendoff” was born after he personally went through the convoluted process of arranging funeral services and interacting with the funeral services industry, while helping with his cousin’s funeral procession. Apart from being unclear and expensive, the process was also traumatic.

“I think there has to be a better way to do this,” explains Matebese. He believes Sendoff is useful because it can be a single place for multiple service providers.

Tshepo Ngwenya was tasked with organizing her grandmother’s funeral. “With regards to my grandmother, it was a bit difficult because she died in hospital. So a day has passed to wait for the body to be transferred to a certain funeral home,” he explained.

After seeing the app, he felt sure “Sendoff” he could use to make all the settings. Starting from choosing a funeral home, as well as various funeral plans. “Coffins, catering services, media services or video makers, all you have to do is choose because all the options needed to organize a funeral are available at ‘Sendoff’,” said Ngwenya.

One of the funeral services offered in the app "Sendoff" (IG / senoffapp)

One of the funeral services offered in the “Sendoff” app (IG/senoffapp)

Even though the app is still relatively new, the response to “Sendoff” has been very good, especially from young professionals tasked with organizing the funeral of one of their family members.

Matebese said that was the reason for setting the “Sendoff” target market at the age group of 35 to 45 years. “The population group that we targeted, the 35-45 year olds group, has started to take on the role of organizing funeral services more quickly than we thought, because those who are older have unfortunately passed away,” Matebese said.

Launched in Gauteng province in May 2021, the app will be widely available across South Africa from October. [uh/ab]

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