• German Geni Clone Verwandt Raises Second Funding Round

    German Geni Clone Verwandt Raises Second Funding Round

    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 (although Geni has evolved significantly since then and now has photos, a family news… Read More

  • Founders Fund Closes $220 Million Second Fund

    Founders Fund Closes $220 Million Second Fund

    San Francisco based Founders Fund launched in 2005 with a $50 million venture fund. They’ve had two liquidity events since then, and a handful of other very high profile investments (Facebook, Powerset, Ooma, Quantcast, Slide, Geni, Causes, etc.). Today they will announce a second fund, Founders Fund II. It’s much larger – $220 million. And unlike the first fund, the money comes… Read More

  • Geni Clone Growing A Lot Faster Than Geni

    Geni Clone Growing A Lot Faster Than Geni

    Family genealogy and social newtork Geni got to five million profiles in the first five months after launch. Their early growth propelled them to a $100 million valuation and a lot of positive press. In August the inevitable German clone launched. The clone, called is a near carbon copy of Geni. But unlike most clones, which never do as well as the original application, Verwandt is… Read More

  • Get Your Family Together At Sampa

    Get Your Family Together At Sampa

    When we covered the slate of companies helping people chronicle family stories and milestones, we left out a quiet but excellent Redmond, Washington startup called Sampa. They aren’t new, and we’ve covered them before. The reason we left them out is that we’ve had some difficulty in categorizing them. In many ways Sampa is a blog platform with a focus on privacy features, like… Read More

  • Private BuyOut Of For $300+ Million

    Private BuyOut Of For $300+ Million

    Spectrum Equity Investors has led a $300 million investment to acquire a majority interest in Provo Utah-based The Generations Network (the parent company of, and other sites) according to a source with knowledge of the deal. The Generations Network competes with a number of new Internet startups that we’ve recently covered. Its site competes with Geni… Read More

  • MyHeritage Takes 180 Million People Profiles To War With Geni

    MyHeritage Takes 180 Million People Profiles To War With Geni

    Israeli startup MyHeritage was a bit of a sleeping giant. Until newcomer Geni came along and shook up the genealogy world with its slick new viral family tree application. Geni quickly reached 5 million people profiles and a monster $100 million valuation just a few months after launching. MyHeritage has been around since 2005. They’ve quietly raised $9 million in venture capital (about half… Read More

  • MyHeritage Expands Its Family Tree

    MyHeritage Expands Its Family Tree

    Genealogy site MyHeritage is merging with Pearl Street Software. Through the team-up MyHeritage will pick up Pearl Street’s VP of Technology and gain control of the #2 family tree software in worldwide sales (Family Tree Legends), the #2 family tree submission site (GenCircles) with more than 160 million ancestors, and more than 400 million public records in the Family Tree Legends Records… Read More

  • German Geni Clone German Geni Clone

    Germany is starting to build a name for itself as the startup cloning capital of the world. German clones of popular U.S. services keep popping up. Twitter (Frazr, Dukudu). and Facebook (Studi.vz) are two recent examples. TechCrunch contributor Gregor Hochmuth termed these German clones Copy/Paste innovation. The latest German clone, Verwandt, means “related” in English. Its design and… Read More

  • Geni: 5 million Profiles In 5 Months

    We just got word that genealogy site Geni will be announcing that they’ve hit their 5 millionth profile, just five months after launching the service. This is up from 2 million in March. You can view the press release here. This is not the number of registered users (Geni had 100,000 when reporting 2 million profiles), but rather the number of people put into Geni family trees. A user, after… Read More

  • Geni: Earning That $100 million Valuation

    Geni: Earning That $100 million Valuation

    When genealogy site Geni announced that it had raised a venture round from Charles River Ventures valuing the two month old startup at $100 million, more than a few eyebrows were raised. For the last couple of months, people have referred to “Pulling a Geni” when they try to raise money at a super-big valuation immediately after launch. At launch, Geni appeared to be like many other… Read More