Photo: Gilad Japhet/MyHeritage
MyHeritage, the rip-roaring Israeli genealogy startup, just bought FamilyLink.com, a startup which ran a huge database of historical records.Genealogy sounds obscure, but it’s a huge market online, with the biggest company, Ancestry.com, publicly traded and worth around $1 billion.
We spoke with CEO Gilad Japhet about the acquisition. FamilyLink brings MyHeritage into the US market, where it didn’t have much of a presence (even though it’s huge internationally and growing very fast), and the product completes MyHeritage’s.
On MyHeritage, users build and share family trees; now with FamilyLink’s trove of historical records (with billions of entries) they can link those user-generated trees with historical data. Japhet says, for example, as you build your family tree, you’ll be able to see contemporary newspaper stories about your ancestors–pretty neat.
This also means MyHeritage is now competing more directly with Ancestry.com. They’re landing in their backyard–literally: FamilyLink’s offices are roughly a hundred yards away from Ancestry.com’s. With his Israeli military background, Japhet says he’s “going behind enemy lines.”
We’ve been fans of MyHeritage because of its history (Japhet mortgaged his house and almost destroyed his marriage to keep the company afloat when nobody wanted to invest in it) and because of its ambition (MyHeritage wants to build not just a genealogy site but a “family network” for families to connect and keep in touch online, a Facebook-sized ambition), and because it’s in an unconventional but big space.
Here are exclusive pictures of celebration following the acquisition:
MORE ON MYHERITAGE:
- How A Startup No One Would Touch Crushed Silicon Valley Moguls And Became A Giant →
- This Company Is Seizing The Huge Opportunity Facebook And Twitter Missed →
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