By Kara Apel, Editor of The Leader
An Austin startup company that transforms ashes into diamonds is announcing a major partnership with Ohio-based firm Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service.
Eterneva launched in the fourth quarter of 2017 and raised $1.2 million in funding within four weeks.
Randy Schoedinger, CEO of Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, called the Eterneva team “extraordinary.”
“We’ve known about the cremated remains to diamonds memorial option for quite some time, but Eterneva stands head and shoulders above their competitors because of their passion for what they are doing and the customer service they bring to those going through the journey,” said Schoedinger in a news release.
Schoedinger said they hope the partnership will allow their firm to offer customers “more options and more meaning at one of the most difficult times in their lives.”
Eterneva’s co-founder, Adelle Archer, was inspired to start the company following the loss of her mentor, Tracey, who died from pancreatic cancer.
“As a guardian of Tracey’s ashes, I chose to have them turned into a black diamond to capture her sparkling spirit and ensure that her legacy lives on. It’s in Tracey’s honor that I’m working to help thousands of families preserve their own loved ones’ legacies,” said Archer on the company’s website.
Co-founder Garrett Ozar spoke about the reasoning behind the creation of Eterneva, explaining that experiences like Archer’s make sense to younger consumers, who want personalization and substance in all aspects of their lives, including memorialization options.
“When you lose a really close connection – a parent, a sibling, a child – you want something special to remember them by,” said Ozar in a news release.
During an eight-month process, the ashes are transformed into diamonds. One of the most unique qualities of Eterneva’s services is that customers choose the diamonds’ size, color, cut, and inscriptions. In doing this, families can create a meaningful connection with the loved ones behind it.
“We want the journey around the diamond to be absolutely magical for the family. From personalized messages in our packaging, to personalized video updates of the process, to gifts on death days and birthdays, we’re always asking ourselves: ‘How can we make this journey even more cathartic and special?’” said Archer in a news release.
Later this year, the company also plans on opening a diamond growth lab in Austin.
“This will allow customers to more easily come to see the process first-hand and perhaps even put their loved one’s carbon in the machine themselves,” said Archer in a news release.
The company will also offer its own version of obituaries, called “dedication pages,” for those who have died where friends and family members can share memories and follow along for updates on the diamond-making process.
Investor Brett Hurt said the team is passionate and dedicated to memorializing the lives of their clients’ loved ones.
“I lost both of my parents years ago and know firsthand how limited the options were to celebrate their life. It is an honor to be among their first investors in such a great company and in such a beautiful, memorable product matched with incredible customer service,” said Hurt in a news release.
Investors for this round of funding include:
- Eric Korman, founder of luxury fragrance company Phlur
- Ian Lopatin, founder of Spiritual Gangster
- Suhail Doshi, founder of Mixpanel
- Brett Hurt, founder of Bazaarvoice
- Dan Graham, founder of Build-a-Sign and Notley Ventures
- Brant Barton, founder of Bazaarvoice and chairman for 1% for the Planet
- David Rubin, founder of OjoLabs
- AJ Bruno, founder of TrendKite
- Brian Cruver, founder of AlertMedia
- Manish Patel, founder of Nutrabolt
- John Banczak, founder of TurnKey Vacation Rentals