Mar 23, 2023 - Economy

Human composting startup Recompose opens $5M crowdfunding round

Illustration of a skull surrounded by a recycling symbol

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Recompose, the country's foremost human composting startup, is looking to raise $5 million in a crowdfunding round.

Catch up quick: The Seattle funeral home specializes in a novel form of post-life care in which human remains are turned into soil, which can then be used in a garden or forest — with permission, where necessary.

  • More than 250 people have used Recompose's services so far, the company says, while more than 1,300 have signed up to be composted when they die.

Details: Recompose's new funding round is open to anyone willing to invest at least $1,000 in exchange for equity in the company.

  • As of 2021, U.S. startups can raise up to $5 million every year from everyday investors via Kickstarter-style "crowdfunding" campaigns, as Axios' Courtenay Brown reported.
  • The company previously raised $6.75 million in a 2020 funding round, and $10 million in a December 2022 round. Both were traditional rounds.

What they're saying: "We've basically built this whole new concept and piece of the funeral industry through community support and momentum, whether it's grassroots folks helping us with legislation, or just people getting behind this idea," Recompose founder and CEO Katrina Spade tells Axios.

  • "It's very much in line with our ethos as a company to raise money from our broader community."

The big picture: New York recently became the sixth state to legalize human composting, a form of after-life care increasingly popular with climate-conscious people seeking a more environmentally friendly funeral option.

What's next: That more states are allowing the practice opens more markets for Recompose — but could invite new competition too.

Go deeper