The Chagossians want .io back and they are fixated on cryptos using .io Back in 2014 GigaOM published a story on the .io extension, the country code for the  British Indian Ocean Territory. With the ominous title, The dark side of .io: How the U.K. is making web domain profits from a shady Cold War land deal. Things came to the surface about who runs the .io extension, […] The post The Chagossians …

This startup wants to transform UK’s over-priced death industry using technology, raises €22.1M funding

Farewill, the UK’s startup which claims to be best-rated death experts and also winner of the 2019 National Will Writing Firm of the Year has announced that it has raised £20 million (€22.1 million), led by growth-stage experts Highland Europe. 

Founded in 2015, Farewill is transforming the outdated death industry and its expensive, complex processes – many of which haven’t changed for more than 150 years – using technology and design. 

Inspired by experiences at the Royal College of Art, CEO Dan Garrett set out to make death – a topic that’s long been taboo – easier for people to tackle. Alongside Co-founder Tom Rogers, previously of Boomf, the pair have overhauled the way people write a will, deal with probate and arrange a funeral. 

Rather than using technology for technology’s sake, their team thinks of customers first. The platform simplifies complex processes, avoids legal jargon, and does away with hidden fees – removing unnecessary friction at a time when people feel at their most vulnerable. Users are guided through a series of questions, all navigated online at their convenience, and a team of in-house specialists are available seven days a week when customers need to speak directly. The cost and time benefits are clear: 

  • With Farewill it takes just 15 minutes to write a will, an average of 24 hours to get the document checked (versus weeks with a traditional solicitor), and it costs from £90 – half the UK average. 
  • On the probate side, instead of hitting people with spiralling costs – which can be as much as 5% of an estate’s value, plus £800+ to get the grant of probate – Farewill charges a single, fixed fee starting at £595. An application takes seven days, compared to the UK average of three weeks. 
  • Farewill direct cremations start from £980, whereas the average UK cremation costs £3,250. When combined with other fees, the total cost of dying typically soars above £10,000 in the UK, forcing 1 in 8 families into funeral poverty.

As a result of these benefits, Farewill is now the highest-rated death expert in the UK with a five-star, Excellent TrustPilot rating of 4.9, taken from more than 6,000 reviews. (Please see the notes section for examples of customer testimonials.)

The organisation is the largest will writer in the UK, responsible for 1 in 10 wills, and became National Will Writer of the Year at the 2019 British Wills and Probate Awards. After launching its direct cremation service last year, it helped more families within two months than the average funeral home serves in a year, becoming the UK’s fastest-growing funeral provider. More recently it won ‘best social innovation’ at the 2020 Europas, joining the ranks of previous award winners including Spotify, Babylon Health, TransferWise and Soundcloud.  

The existing issues around the cost and complex, outdated processes surrounding death have been thrown into sharp relief in the wake of COVID-19. Farewill data shows 94% of people who have lost a loved one to coronavirus found administrative tasks negatively affected during recent times. 40% found it difficult to register the event due to lockdown restrictions, and 39% said that dealing with pensions, tax and probate was almost impossible. Almost a third (27%) reported that the companies they needed to speak to were closed, and 24% were told services were ‘on hold’.

This latest round of funding sees Highland Europe, alongside Keen Ventures, Rich Pierson of Headspace, Broadhaven Ventures, and Venture Founders join previous investors – among them Augmentum Fintech, Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise) and Kindred Capital. It takes the total raised so far to £30m.

Dan said, “Dealing with death is one of the hardest parts of life, and we started Farewill to take some of the pain out of the process. The latest investment from Highland Europe shows their conviction in our vision for fairer, more transparent services in this space. It means we can build on what we’ve started, growing our world-class team and designing easy-to-use tools that help people during incredibly tough times. We’ll also carry on raising millions in pledged legacy income for the third sector, and we’re aiming to get to £1 billion by 2023. There’s a real need for change in this industry and we’re really proud to be leading it.” 

“How about entirely removing the administrative pain for those grieving for their loved ones? How about providing an affordable, effortless and considerate service? That’s what the Farewill team is doing – with an extraordinary blend of compassion and tech-fueled efficiency,” said Stan Laurent, Partner at Highland Europe and previous Chief Executive of PhotoBox, the photo-printing consumer company that also owned Moonpig. 

“For too long, the wills and funeral industry has been largely geared towards profit over purpose. Since our first meeting with Dan, we knew that Farewill had the ingredients to radically disrupt the industry. We’re excited to back them as they broaden their ambition.”

Tim Levene, CEO of Augmentum Fintech, said, “Farewill has made phenomenal progress since our initial investment 18 months ago. They have grown by 10x and launched a suite of successful new products. This additional capital will provide further opportunity for the company to innovate an archaic industry, and become the leading digital platform in death services.”

Tracy Doree, Chair of the Board at Farewill, added “This latest achievement is testament to the calibre of the team, the culture they’re building, and the approach they’re taking. In an industry that’s still relatively untouched by technology, the opportunity to drive meaningful change and fix problems remains vast. It’s exciting to see the first consumer brand in this space take off. ”

The investment will be used to fund expansion in the UK, as well as ongoing service improvement and product innovation.

— Press release

Main image credits: Farewill

The post This startup wants to transform UK’s over-priced death industry using technology, raises €22.1M funding appeared first on Silicon Canals .

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Online Businesses Using .CLUB and other Domain Name Extensions to Benefit from Supreme Court “Boo…

 The Domains: So while premium .com owners seem to be championing the decision. Others are now looking at how pairing the name and extension can create added value within an ip portfolio. Jeff Sass sent me an email about how .club is looking at things. They also put out a press release. Online Businesses Using .CLUB […] The post …

Online Businesses Using .CLUB and other Domain Name Extensions to Benefit from Supreme Court “” Ruling

So while premium .com owners seem to be championing the decision. Others are now looking at how pairing the name and extension can create added value within an ip portfolio. Jeff Sass sent me an email about how .club is looking at things. They also put out a press release. Online Businesses Using .CLUB […]

The post Online Businesses Using .CLUB and other Domain Name Extensions to Benefit from Supreme Court “” Ruling appeared first on

How to Search GoDaddy Domain Auctions using the “old” API

Alvin Brown provides a tutorial on how to use the GdAuctionsBiddingWS_v2 api to search and retrieve domain names listed on GoDaddy Aftermarket by keyword.

Today’s tutorial is a bit tricky. Why? Well, you’ll need to have access to GoDaddy’s old API: GdAuctionsBiddingWS_v2.

You’re likely not familiar with this API by name, yet if you’ve been around domain investing long enough, then you’ve likely experienced or heard of auction bots and auction bot sniping.

Yeah, I know, I know… This tutorial likely stirs the pot a bit for those who do not have access to the api. That’s not the intention of this tutorial.  Nevertheless, for those that do have access and would like to make use of the API, well, this tutorial is for you.

But no worries for those of you who don’t have access to the original API, I’ve kindly provided a few tutorials for GoDaddy’s most recent API. Read more on how to get started using GoDaddy’s more recent API.

For today’s tutorial, the GdAuctionsBiddingWS_v2 API offers nearly 20 different methods to interact with the GoDaddy Aftermarket, including but not limited to the following:

  • EstimateCloseoutDomainPrice
  • GetAuctionDetails
  • GetAuctionDetailsByDomainName
  • GetAuctionList
  • GetAuctionList2
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionType
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionType2
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionTypeAdultBidsCloseDays
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionTypeAdultBidsCloseDays2
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionTypeAdultFilter
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionTypeAdultFilter2
  • GetAuctionListByAuctionTypeAndDates
  • GetServiceStatus
  • GetTermsOfServiceUrls
  • InstantPurchaseCloseoutDomain
  • PlaceBlackorder
  • PlaceBid
  • PlaceBidOrPurchase
  • PlaceBidWithPurchaseProfile

Today’s tutorial focuses on the following two API methods: GetAuctionListByAuctionType and GetAuctionListByAuctionType2.

In short, both methods allow for searching the aftermarket based on a keyword, auction type, and search type.

The difference between the two is that the GetAuctionListByAuctionType includes beginsWithKeyword and auctionType, whereas GetAuctionListByAuctionType2 includes keyWord, auctionType, and searchType in addition to pageNumber and rowsPerPage used by both methods.

For the sake of time and providing an example script that can be downloaded, I won’t dive into the line-by-line details, but I will provide a high-level overview of the example code.

First things first, you must have access to the GdAuctionsBiddingWS_v2 API. If you don’t, then there is no reason to continue this tutorial. This is the mission-critical step of all.

And for the record, GoDaddy is not allowing or issuing access to anyone else.  However, if anyone does have the midas touch to in managing to gain access, then bottle and package up how you did it and sell it — an army of folks await!

As for the tutorial itself, the first thing to note about the example script, which implements the GetAuctionListByAuctionType2 method, is that the following variables and their respective string values must be defined:

  • pageNumber – value is set to the numeric value of 1.
  • rowPerPage – value can be set to one of the following: 15, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, and 500.
  • keyword – value can be set to a desired keyword phrase contained in domain names, excluding spaces and special characters, minus hyphens.
  • auctionType – value be set to one of the following: auction or buy now.
  • searchType – value can be set to one of the following: most active, featured, expiring, ending soon, buy now, closeouts, bargainbin, and a-z listings.

The keyword ‘domain’ is used as the keyword variable value in this example, which returns a list of domains in auction containing the keyword ‘domain’.

One thing I was in the dark on are the actual values for auctionType and searchType variables. I cannot confirm those are the actual variables to be used, but guessed based on the values I discovered using Developer Tools to inspect the search elements on GoDaddy’s Aftermarket web page.

If anyone knows with certainty about these values, do feel free to chime in with comments in the comments section below.

Now that variables are defined with their respective values, the SOAP request and response can be made using the GetAuctionListByAuctionType2 method. While PHP provides a SOAP class nowadays to make the request, I’ve purposely chosen to use cURL and handcraft the SOAP header and body request (as shown below).

SOAP 1.2 Request

The above example SOAP is a 1.1 Request. If you’re using SOAP 1.2, then the following request can be used as a start point:

SOAP 1.2 Request

The aforementioned example requests, specifically the SOAP 1.1 body and header, are implemented in the example code.

One thing to note is that GoDaddy API credentials from the most recent API release is needed to authenticate the API request.

In the example code, be sure to replace the X’s in the line of ‘Authorization: sso-key XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX’ with the proper API credentials.

Once the API credentials are created, the API can be authenticated and request successfully made using the SOAP API WSDL url (see example code to obtain url).

Being well on our way to successfully making a SOAP request, the next thing to prepare for is the SOAP response and how to parse it — see the examples below:

SOAP 1.1 Response

SOAP 1.2 Response

The focal point of the SOAP response is the GetAuctionListByAuctionType2Result element, which contains a string of auction data (see example code below).

<Auction ID=”327387240″ Name=”ROCKETFLY.NET” Traffic=”3″ BidCount=”0″ Price=”$ 5 USD” ValuationPrice=”$ 418 USD” TimeLeft=”11H 7M ” RowID=”1″/>

For each domain returned, the aforementioned Auction element is return for each matching domain and contains the following attributes:

  • ID – auction ID
  • Name – the matching domain name
  • Traffic – supposed the number of times a domain is viewed
  • BidCount – the number of bids
  • Price – the current price of domain in auction
  • ValuationPrice – the GoDaddy GoValue or Estimated value of domain
  • TimeLeft – time remaining in auction
  • RowID – the record id or occurrence id of the domain

Again, not diving deep into the details, but to correctly parse the SOAP response, you’ll need to use the following PHP built-in functions: str_ireplace, htmlspecialchars, simplexml_load_string, json_encode, and json_decode.

In short, each aforementioned function helps to clean and transform the SOAP response into XML and into a workable PHP array to access the Auction element attribute data contain specific domain data.

If you load the file to a web server and view it via a web browser, then you should see a list of domain names likely containing the ‘domain’ keyword or keyword you set, if any domains are available for the defined keyword.

And that’s the tutorial folks!

Closing Thoughts

Of course, that’s not really the tutorial in its entirety. That’s just all we have time for today.

This tutorial could be extended in a number of ways. For example, one of the ways to extend this tutorial is adding the ability to parse and then store data in a database for analytics purposes — if you’re all about data-driven domain investing.

Now it’s worth mentioning that searching for domains can be easily completed using GoDaddy’s Saved Search functionality, including a daily email of your saved searches right to your inbox.

However, this type of search is only a snapshot for the time in which it is taken, whereas the API can be automated to run on the minute, hour, day, week, etc — year-round if you will.

Emails are forever locked in your inbox until you take action, unlike the exponential flexibility of scripting and automating against the API, which could operate with and without us — sleeping or awake, busy or bored.

If you have questions or comments about this tutorial, chime in below in the comments section.

Thanks and that’s all for now!


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How Using Internet Marketing To Online Business Full-Time

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Building your own ad exchange or using MoPub?

Hi All

Hope you are well.

Hypothetical situation here – but if you are, for example, a startup creating a new social platform app, as your user base grows and you intend to monetise it by selling ads, how do you go about doing this?

I'm guessing at some stage you build your own internal/proprietary ad exchanged?

What do you do in the meantime? Use something like the MoPub SDK?

Or is there something else to it? And is an ad exchange the most appropriate way in which to sell ads on your platform?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How To Work With Home By Using A Computer And Internet Connection

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