Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Who owns the genealogy companies? Part Eight

Down the home stretch on who owns the genealogy companies. This time I look at Another of the non-U.S. companies, headquartered in "the beautiful village of Bnei Atarot, near Tel Aviv, Israel, founded by German Templers in 1902 under the name of Wilhelma." See MyHeritage. Unlike some of the other genealogy companies I have recently reviewed, MyHeritage is extremely open. Their management page contains short biographies of the officers and directors. It is difficult to ascertain the actual size of many of these genealogy companies, but it appears that MyHeritage may only be second to in the number of worldwide users.

MyHeritage considers itself to be a family-oriented social networking site with genealogy. From Wikipedia, "In 2003, CEO Gilad Japhet and a team of genealogy enthusiasts founded MyHeritage in Japhet's living room in the small town of Bnei Atarot, just outside Tel Aviv, Israel.
Within six years, the company had grown to its current size as a community of 50 million members with 320 million online profiles. There are 6 million family trees on the site, and the site is accessible in 35 languages.  This makes MyHeritage the second-largest genealogy company in the world." These numbers as you will see below, have become out-dated quickly.

MyHeritage has attracted some major venture capital investment firms such as  Index Ventures and Accel.  A review of the Accel companies shows the MyHeritage is just one of a very many investments which include Facebook, Kayak, Dropbox, and hundreds of others. Index Ventures has invested in such online programs as Skype and MySQL. In the case of Index Ventures, MyHeritage is also just another of their huge list of companies. Both Accel and Index Ventures, as is customary, have one member each on the Board of Directors.

In February of this year, 2010, MyHeritage completed its third acquisition,  buying Germany’s OSN. OSN operates seven genealogy sites including in Germany, in Poland and in the US. The merger gave MyHeritage new features and a combined 540 million profiles, 47 million active users and 13 million family trees. See TechCrunch

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