MyHeritage nets return capital from Index Ventures and Accel Partners and closes consolidation purchase

Index Ventures and Accel Partners-backed MyHeritage has closed its latest funding round and bought out a rival business.

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MyHeritage, which helps people to research their family history, has raised $25 million (£15.6 million) by way of a Series E round.

As well as closing the fundraising, it has also acquired competitor Geni.com for an undisclosed amount.

The business is backed by venture capital firms Index Ventures and Accel Partners as well as new investor Bessemer Venture Partners. To date it has raised $49 million of venture capital investment following a $2 million deal in 2004, a $3 million investment in 2006, a Series C commitment worth $3 million in 2007 and its previous biggest round of $15 million in 2008.

MyHeritage’s purchase of Geni.com is said to reinforce its position in the family history industry and accelerates its ‘vision’ of helping families build and share their legacy online.

The acquisition is the eighth, and largest, transaction completed by MyHeritage since it was founded in 2003.

Its plans for the $25 million equity investment revolve around boosting the growth of its historical content services as well as expanding commercial operations around the world.

The company will also continue to evaluate potential acquisition targets, it says in a statement.

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, says, ‘[This] is a major turning-point for the family history industry, giving us significant new resources to extend our market leadership and deliver new value to families worldwide.

‘Well established as an innovative and social brand, Geni.com is a natural addition to MyHeritage and together we look forward to taking collaborative family history to new heights.’

As part of the deal, the entire staff at Geni.com, which was founded in 2007, will join MyHeritage. The services of the two businesses will initially run independently with MyHeritage intending to give respective users the ability to collaborate.

Geni.com was founded by David Sacks, the founder and CEO of Yammer. He adds, ‘What we’ve learned over the years building Geni is that there are three key assets that customers want in the genealogy space: records, private trees, and the world family tree.

‘This deal brings together all of these pieces to form the most complete offering in the genealogy space. Together with MyHeritage, we look forward to continuing Geni’s mission of connecting humanity through a single family tree.’

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