How can we give our lost loved ones a fitting tribute? Maxime Verhulst and two friends set up the online memorial website TillAlways.com in order to do just that.
The objective of TillAlways is to provide grieving friends and relatives with an everlasting memory of their lost loved one. “When our friend Raf passed away, we tried to come up with a way to fulfil his last wish: to be remembered forever”, says Verhulst. “But traditional means of remembrance, such as a gravestone or a photo, are transient and not always easily accessible. So that is why we set up TillAlways in 2013 – a website where friends and relatives can upload pictures, recipes, poems and music that remind them of their lost loved one.”
TillAlways also supports videos and integrates other tools such Spotify. Although there are other similar companies on the market, Verhulst considers his company to be different. “TillAlways stands out due to its serene character”, he says. “The profile of the departed can be private or public and we are very careful to monitor for any inappropriate content. There are other sites such as inmemoriam.be, but we want to keep ours ad-free. We feel that this way we can uphold the genuine nature of the platform.”
Initially, TillAlways wanted to sell the platform directly to the consumer; however that proved to be an insufficiently responsive method. “When we were trying to raise capital, we were told that our business model would never catch on and so we decided to change tactics”, nods Verhulst. “Since then, we’ve been following a reseller model and selling a monthly subscription through the undertaker. Private users also have the option of registering a profile directly on TillAlways.com.”
The platform is clearly popular with the general public. “We are seeing that the average user returns several times to manage or modify the deceased person’s profile”, recounts Verhulst. “For example, we have a lady who writes an emotional letter to her husband every month. That type of thing is obviously tremendously heart-warming.”
The website is currently available in English, Dutch and French. Verhulst considers TillAlways.com to be scalable and is gearing up for its internationalisation.
“At the end of this year, we want to hire sales people to sell the platform in France and the United Kingdom, along others”, he confirms. “We think it’s great that we are able to partner with Roularta Mediatech Accelerator for this. They will doubtless play an important role in our international expansion.”
Text: Magali De Reu