As I had predicted a little over two weeks ago, there has been a major merging of on-line genealogy sites. MyHeritage has announced its acquisition of dynastree and other sites – all part of Hamburg-based OSN Group (Verwandt.de). Here is the press release I just received:
MyHeritage.com Acquires Major Family Network OSN (Verwandt.de) to Accelerate Building the World’s Family Graph
With 13 million family trees, 47 million members and 530 million profiles, MyHeritage.com becomes the largest international site dedicated to families on the web
Hamburg, Germany, London, UK and Tel Aviv, Israel – February 3, 2010 – MyHeritage.com, the company that connects families to their past and to one another, today announced a significant expansion of its global family network through the acquisition of the Hamburg-based OSN Group, which operates a network of 10 market-leading family sites, including Verwandt.de (Germany), Moikrewni.pl (Poland) and Dynastree.com (USA).
“MyHeritage.com has established itself as the trusted home for families on the web. By integrating these market-leading services into a single international platform, we are taking a great step towards realizing our vision of connecting families around the world,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage.com and the father of three children. “We’re thrilled to welcome millions of new families from some of the Internet’s most important markets to our platform. We look forward to offering our new members an effortless migration which preserves their privacy, and we will deliver the best that our combined network and technologies can offer to support them in exploring their family history, sharing important memories and staying connected”.
MyHeritage.com now holds a formidable international registered member base of 47 million, and offers its services in 35 languages. The acquisition helps MyHeritage.com build on its existing strength in the USA, UK, Canada, France and Australia while making significant inroads into key European markets such as Germany, Poland and the Netherlands as well as many major Latin American markets.
Combining these services into a single international platform expands the size of MyHeritage.com’s unique user-generated family graph to 13 million family trees including 530 million genealogical profiles. The increased scale of this privacy-enforced family graph provides instant value to families, making it even easier for them to find long-lost relatives and discover more about their unique family histories. This will help, for example more North American members connect with their European relatives and ancestors. As part of the acquisition, MyHeritage.com will be establishing an office in Hamburg where experienced OSN team members will be based.
“Facebook has built an amazingly useful graph of our social connections and LinkedIn of our professional connections, and MyHeritage.com is building a uniquely valuable graph of our family life, both past and present”, said Saul Klein, board member at MyHeritage.com, partner at Index Ventures and the father of two children. “By extending the scale and geographic reach of its family graph and offering a private place online for families across the world to securely share photos, important events and explore our family history, MyHeritage.com’s service has the potential to become part of the fabric of our online lives.”
MyHeritage.com offers a powerful suite of tools and technologies for managing family connections online, including:
- Award-winning free downloadable genealogy software,
- Powerful Smart Matching™ technology that connects family trees across different languages, pronunciations and spellings, and
- Advanced facial recognition technology that auto-magically tags family photos
New technologies from OSN will be integrated into MyHeritage.com, starting with the Family Crest Builder, which will go live on MyHeritage.com this week.
“We’re really excited to be able to combine the best of OSN and MyHeritage.com’s services to bring even more value to our members” said Daniel Grözinger, co-founder of OSN Online Social Networking GmbH. “Since 2007, we have built our services into market leaders in key European and Latin American markets and we’re excited to work with Gilad and his team to make it easier for families to keep in touch and bridge gaps of geography, language and time. Our members’ family trees are now safely and securely migrated to MyHeritage.com where they can continue to enjoy the service for free and benefit from many additional features of the combined platform, such as Smart Matching and photo tagging technologies”.
© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee