Austin Based Eterneva Provides The Meaningful Memorial Experience Many Younger Americans Are Looking For
Based in Austin, Texas, Eterneva takes a unique approach to help people through grief when they lose a family member, friend, or pet. Those who have recently lost a loved one contact Eterneva to have the person or pet memorialized by transforming some of their ashes into diamonds.
The staff at Eterneva stay connected with clients throughout the eight months it takes to complete the process. The company continually works to improve this process by adjusting its storytelling, branding, photography, and videography to better serve its clients during their time of mourning.
The company is also considering additional ways to reach out to clients while working on their diamond, including allowing them to come onsite to tour their labs in person. Another change it recently launched was the introduction of dedication pages in March 2020. These pages provide clients with an opportunity to share milestones in the diamond-making process on social media.
Eterneva Meets an Unfilled Need
The traditional methods of coping with grief like counseling or support groups do not work for everyone. Some people want more tangible reminders of the person or pet they lost, and diamonds fit the bill.
Religion professor Candi Cann of Baylor University has performed extensive research on grieving for Eterneva. She discovered that many people who have used Eterneva’s services view the memorial diamonds as a type of anchor for their grief. Because diamonds are lightweight and easy to wear as jewelry, they can be more anchoring and therapeutic than visiting a gravesite.
The Process of Growing Diamonds
The company headquarters, located at 4115 Friedrich Lane on the south side of Austin, currently serves as the place where it grows diamonds. Eterneva grows diamonds in Switzerland and Germany as well. Diamond growing takes approximately two months to complete. Two additional machines will arrive at company headquarters shortly along with an additional six by the end of the quarter. Eterneva’s goal is to have a total of 15 diamond-growing machines across all locations by December 31, 2022.
Eterneva’s Plans for Long-Term Growth
Because of the pandemic, all but the operations team for Eterneva will continue to work at home until the end of the third quarter of 2021. Although it has just 25 employees, the company plans to move to a 5,000 square foot jewelry facility and research and development center this summer.
The move will allow Eterneva to consolidate all stone-setting and jewelry operations in a single location. Another aspect of the company growth plan is to increase the number of employees to at least 35 by the end of 2021 and 80 by the end of 2022. By the start of 2022, Eterneva plans to move its diamond growing operations to a 30,000 square foot facility near Austin.
Who is the Company Leadership?
Adelle Archer and Garrett Ozar started Eterneva in 2017. Archer currently serves as the CEO. The company’s growth took off when Archer and Ozar appeared on the TV Show “Shark Tank” with host Mark Cuban in 2019. They plan to hire a vice president of grief and a vice president of finance as soon as possible. Archer states that Eterneva’s goal is to lead the country in grief wellness and having an onsite staff person dedicated to this mission will help.
Expansion to the leadership team came as recently as December 2020. Michael Jewert is the new President and Chief Commercial Officer, David Sweet is the new Vice President of Marketing, and Rob Kranenburg is the new Vice President of Operations.
Eterneva Has Not Yet Reached Profitability
Since its opening in 2017, Eterneva has served 800 customers and grown 1,100 diamonds from the ashes of humans and animals. Although the company has not released specific revenue data, its leadership has reason to be hopeful. Archer states Eterneva is at a point of triple-digit growth while earning seven figures in revenue. Ultimately, Eterneva wants to achieve the status of the world’s most recognized name in death care.
Raising Investment Capital
Eterneva has raised $6.7 million by the end of the first quarter of 2021, and it recently completed an insider bridge investment round worth $2 million. At the beginning of the second quarter of 2021, Eterneva plans to begin raising $10 million from a Series A round. Archer reports that the company will be partnering with some of the largest enterprise players in the space of death care.
Funeral homes represent a large enterprise segment for Eterneva, comprising 16 percent of its distribution channel. Leadership plans a more than threefold increase to 50 percent by the end of 2022. Eterneva currently has 120 partnership arrangements with funeral homes throughout the United States and Canada. The company intends to increase that number to 1,000 by the close of 2021.
Funeral Home Partnerships
When families lose a loved one, they have the option to memorialize that person by hiring Eterneva to transform their ashes into diamonds. Funeral homes work with Eterneva to send half a cup of the ashes or hair of the deceased to start the diamond-making process. The funeral home receives a commission from Eterneva for their participation.
Cremation has grown in popularity over the last decade, making funeral homes an obvious partner choice. Forty percent of families chose cremation in 2010, but that number jumped to 53 percent in 2020 and made cremation more popular than burial for the first time. Funeral home directors predict the trend will continue to increase significantly and that more than three-quarters of families will choose cremation by 2030.
Cremation is a far less expensive option for families but has had a significant impact on revenue for funeral homes. The directors of funeral homes recognize the need to connect with younger generations and view the partnership with Eterneva as a practical way to accomplish this.Tags: diamonds