Tributes.com, a new spinout from Eons, has raised $4.3 million in funding from Dow Jones, Eons and other strategic backers. VentureWire reports a post-money valuation of $8.9 million.
Tributes.com is an online content company focused on obituaries and related information, which means it will compete with sites like Legacy.com. Eons is a social network for the baby boomer set, and has raised $32 million in VC funding to date.
Today, Eons, Inc., parent company of online baby boomer community www.eons.com , announced the formation of Tributes, Inc. Tributes� will be focused on developing www.tributes.com into the leading online destination for timely obituary news and lasting tributes celebrating loved ones’ lives, fulfilling against the original vision for the eons.com obituary classifieds product — Eons.com Obits — which launched as part of the site in July 2006.
Tributes.com also offers an online community to provide support during times of loss and grieving, and the site includes an extensive obituary database with obituary records dating back to the early 1900s, providing an excellent resource for genealogy and documenting family connections. As part of the new venture, Dow Jones & Company has signed on as a strategic investor in Tributes, Inc., and will seek ways to expand the relationship. Tributes raised $4.2 million in Series A financing to fund business operations.
The Tributes executive team represents deep expertise in building consumer brands, migrating classifieds online and the funeral industry. Jeff Taylor, founder and CEO of Eons and founder of Monster.com, which transformed the recruitment advertising industry globally with its pioneering online model, will act as Chairman of the Board of the new company. Elaine Haney, who served in several executive product and marketing roles at eons.com and who previously spent 10 years building Switchboard.com into one of the industry’s leading online white and yellow pages brands, will serve as the company’s President. John Heald, who will serve as the company’s Vice President of Business Development and Sales, is a fourth-generation licensed funeral director who brings additional industry knowledge as a former sales consultant to Batesville Casket Company and a consultant in the pre-need insurance industry. Taylor’s & Haney’s deep experience transitioning print classified products to the web along with Heald’s channel expertise, gives Tributes a powerful foundation of knowledge which can be leveraged to fulfill against its mission.
“The Internet is transforming the way people grieve,” said Taylor, “and the Obituary classifieds is the last laggard classified section that has yet to make a meaningful transition from print to online. There is a significant opportunity to establish Tributes.com as a major web brand that marries reliable, timely obituary data with user generated content and community, transforming an industry that is over 100 years old and creating a platform which offers more and better services for families.”
Building upon industry relationships previously established by eons.com, Tributes will partner directly with funeral homes to establish Tributes.com as an important bridge between funeral homes and consumers searching online for obituary information and in need of funeral-related services.
Eons.com is the online community for spirited boomers who want to explore their passions, keep in touch with friends, connect with interesting people to share life experiences, and most of all have fun. Founded by Jeff Taylor, creator of Monster.com, Eons has attracted a team of renowned advisors and industry-leading partners and is backed by venture capital financing from General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Charles River Ventures and Intel Capital, as well as Humana, Inc. Eons is headquartered in Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston. For more information about Eons, visit www.eons.com .