Case Studies / Exizent

Bringing bereavement into the 21st Century

We used service design to take the stress out of probate. Working with Exizent’s founding team, we shaped a streamlined, B2B platform that’s helping the nation get their affairs in order.

The context

We all struggle with bereavement.

But probate — the legal process for putting a loved-one’s affairs in order — adds another layer of uncertainty.

The challenge

Sorting out the affairs of a loved one is stressful, even when you’ve got specialists on the case.

Nick Cousins wanted to change that.

He asked us to join him as a founding partner in Exizent, and help him design a better kind of probate.

Nick wanted to build an MVP (minimum viable product) that would make the bereavement experience more manageable, more human, and much, much less complicated for everyone involved.

Nile gave us and our investors the confidence to take on an industry sized problem.
Nick Cousins, Founder & CEO, Exizent
We found a lot of complex problems

Probate aims to bring together legal bodies, financial institutions, and – crucially – people experiencing loss. The process is used to understand and distribute the careful accumulations of a life; to find out what there is, and where it should go.

It should come as no surprise when we say that legal and financial systems are complicated.

The probate process tries to wrestle with such institutions to unify a lifetime of interaction, and lay out a single and exhaustive version of the truth.

During our exploration it became clear that nobody had taken a holistic view of the probate process before, nor applied any meaningful systemic design to it. As Nick and the team began to map out the space, we found numerous process tangles and knots which could be unravelled with the application of targeted service design.

But we couldn’t boil the ocean. We prioritised those challenges which that were the best fit for the kind of organisation Nick was trying to build; problems where Exizent could have a real impact.

How we helped

We unpicked the entire UK probate process through exploratory interviews with professionals and personal users.

Suddenly we had a holistic view of a process that almost nobody understood end to end.

The Nile team were some of the first people I met when I started this journey with Exizent. They’re such a good bunch of people to work with. They’ve been a fundamental part of the evolution of the business.
Nick Cousins, Founder & CEO, Exizent
Plotting the way ahead

Working with development collaborators Open Frequency, we too some high-level concepts, built prototypes and took our ideas out to the marketplace.

On highstreets, in office blocks, and in small messy basement offices around the country, we showed solicitors and law firms Exizent’s ideas, and worked to refine and validate the the direction we were taking.

Taking onboard the guidance of all the legal professionals we spoke to, our next step was to build prototypes for Exizent’s first digital product, creating a strategic roadmap for the move beyond MVP.

  • £6.5m

    Capital raised

  • 33

    Highly skilled jobs created

Our impact

We brought clarity to Exizent’s target audiences, defined the long-term vision, and the shaped the platform’s features which resonated most.

A lasting impact

We delivered an initial prototype, a go-to-market strategy, and a strategic roadmap. Exizent gained investor confidence and secured £6.5 million in funding.

Nick and founding partner Aleks went on to grow the company from that one ambitious idea to a highly-skilled team of 33.

In 2020, Exizent launched its revenue-generating MVP.

Nick Cousins, Founder and CEO, speaks about working with Nile