• David Sacks: Yammer Wasn't a Pivot and I Still Love Geni (TCTV)

    Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks came all the way from his office upstairs from us to talk about his new $25 million round of funding. We discuss a lot of interesting things in this clip including why Sacks says Yammer wasn’t everyone’s new favorite word, a pivot; why he still loves Geni, the company Yammer spun out of that we don’t hear nearly as much about; why more… Read More

  • Geni Goes Global With 20 New Languages And A Crowdsourced Translation Tool

    Genealogy site Geni is going global today with the addition of its site translated into 22 new languages, including Spanish, German, French, and Hebrew. The site will add dozens more languages in the coming weeks. Noah Tutak, President of Geni, said that this additional language functionality is a result of the site’s international user base. Half of Geni’s traffic comes from… Read More

  • Happy Mothers Day! Get Her A Geni Family Tree Poster

    A couple of weeks ago Yammer CEO David Sacks came by the office to give us some news. Sacks, who is also the CEO of genealogy site Geni, also told me about a new product Geni is launching; – family tree posters. There are two 16″ × 20″ versions – $30 for a printed poster, $120 for a canvas, framed poster. One of Geni’s key features is to allow the merging of… Read More

  • MyHeritage Buys Germany's OSN, Now 540 Million Profiles Strong

    Israeli genealogy site MyHeritage has completed its third acquisition, buying Germany’s OSN. OSN operates seven genealogy sites including in Germany, in Poland and in the US. It was launched in 2007 just after LA-based Geni and, at first, it was just your typical German clone. But it added features and grew fast in older European markets like… Read More

  • Yammer Extended Outage. Update: It's Back!

    Yammer, the Twitter-like short messaging service for business users, has been experiencing a prolonged period of downtime today due to DNS issues. The service first went down over 12 hours ago, was alive for a short period tonight, and then became unresponsive again a few hours ago. The issue is also affecting sister company Geni, who share the same DNS servers. Read More

  • GoodGuide And Geni Land New Funding

    PEHub has reported a handful of new unannounced funding rounds based on recent SEC filings. Included among them are ancestry site Geni, which raised $5 million in Series C funding with investors including Charles River Ventures and Founders Fund. Geni’s team, which includes former PayPal exec David Sacks, is also behind TechCrunch50 winner Yammer, a Twitter-like service for businesses. Read More

  • Yammer Hammers Forward With API Launch; See It Soon In Twhirl

    Yammer, a Twitter-like messaging system for businesses, has seen solid growth since launching last week at TechCrunch50 (and taking the top prize). CEO David Sacks says there are now 10,000 networks and 50,000 users just one week in. Yammer’s business model is to let people use the service for free, spreading it throughout the enterprise. When and if a company wants to take… Read More

  • Family Tree Wars Continue: MyHeritage Raises Big Round, Shows Impressive Growth

    It’s been just a few days after our post on Geni’s big growth numbers – and now big news from Israeli competitor MyHeritage. The site has grown from 180 million profiles a year ago to 260 million today, they say. Registered users have also grown, from 17 million to 25 million. Compare that to almost 2 million users for Geni. 230 million photos have been uploaded to the… Read More

  • Geni's Quest Toward One World Family Tree

    Geni founder David Sacks has said all along that he wants to create a single family tree for the whole world. Based on some usage stats the company will announce on Thursday, they’re moving towards that goal: over a million unique visitors in August (growth has been steady). And the biggest family tree at Geni now has over 600,000 profiles and 40,000 users (profiles include deceased… Read More

  • Chart Me Up: Web 2.0 Venture Deals

    Dow Jones VentureSource put out some data on Web 2.0 deals in the U.S. earlier this week that I’ve put together into these charts. The first one above shows how much money has been invested in Web 2.0 startups so far this decade. In 2007, venture capital poured into Web 2.0 companies at a record pace—$1.34 billion. That was up 88 percent from the $716 million invested in… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More