German Geni Clone Verwandt Raises Second Funding Round

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Genealogy social network Verwandt has raised an undisclosed series B from Hasso Plattner Ventures (HPV), said to be in the “multi-million-dollars” but otherwise undisclosed. They closed their first round in July 2007 from Hamburg-based Neuhaus Partners.

Verwandt was originally a clone of Geni.com (although Geni has evolved significantly since then and now has photos, a family news feed, etc.) and launched six months after. Despite releasing later, Verwandt claims to have grown at a faster rate than Geni, adding one million family trees and 9.5 million profiles in the first five months compared to Geni’s 4.5 million after launch. Verwandt now says they have over 1.4 million families and 16 million profiles. Germany makes up about a third of their traffic.

The tremendous growth can at least in part be attributed to the site’s availability in multiple languages. Verwandt is available to users in German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English. Verwandt also has Gedcom import/export, which allows family tree data to be moved around to different applications. A lot of Verwandt’s growth has likely come from Gedcom import data. CEO Sven Schmidt says imports make up less than 5% of their profiles. Geni has export capabilities now, import is coming soon.

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