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Feb 24, 2021

Very Strong Rumor: Francisco Partners Is Acquiring MyHeritage

TechCrunch is a website that often publishes news stories about online services. Today, TechCrunch published the following:

“Genealogy tracking online is a big business, and today comes some M&A [Merger & Acquisition] news for one of the bigger names in the field. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Israel’s MyHeritage.com — a profitable site that lets people test DNA and track their family lineage and has some 62 million users — is getting acquired by Francisco Partners, for a price that a source close to the deal tells us is $600 million.

“A spokesperson for MyHeritage confirmed the deal to TechCrunch over the phone but not the price. Francisco Partners has not responded to our request for comment but we’ll update this post as we learn more.

“From what we understand the deal will be announced officially very soon. Update: we [TechCrunch] now have received a press release, so I guess that makes it ‘official.'”

The article goes on to to detail the rise and profitability of MyHeritage.com at some length. TechCrunch also states, “In addition to its 62 million active users of its site — which is available in 42 languages — it also has a database of some 13 billion historical records. Users have built and expanded on some 58 million family trees on its platform. It’s also run nearly 5 million DNA tests for its users.

Finally, the article states:

“‘By leveraging our operational expertise, market resources and strong industry networks, we believe Francisco Partners is uniquely positioned to help MyHeritage accelerate its vision for growth. We are deeply impressed by the incredible achievements and relentless determination of Gilad, a visionary leader in genealogy who has grown the company from a start-up to a profitable global market leader,’ said Eran Gorev, Francisco Partners‘ President of Israel & Senior Operating Partner, in a statement. ‘We are looking forward to partnering with Gilad and the entire MyHeritage team to help drive market expansion for the company.’

“Gorev is joining the board along with Francisco’s Europe head Matt Spetzler with this deal.

“’Francisco Partners shares MyHeritage’s vision for growth as well as its intense commitment to ensuring the privacy of its users. The users’ personal data is an extremely important priority and we will work together with MyHeritage to expand its already strong privacy framework going forward,’ said Spetzler.”

You can read the full TechCrunch article at: https://techcrunch.com/2021/02/24/francisco-partners-is-acquiring-myheritage-sources-say-for-600m/

Comment by Dick Eastman:

This newsletter has been sponsored by MyHeritage for the past several years and I have learned to respect the business methods of MyHeritage. I have been very impressed with the fact that the company CEO, Gilad Japhet, became a serious genealogist when he was a teenager, unlike the CEOs of most other genealogy-related companies. That fact shows in his business philosophies and actions.

I had no “inside information” about an acquisition but must say that I am not surprised. I have always assumed that most web-based businesses in the genealogy world have always had a business plan that states something similar to: “Either become wildly profitable and become acquired by someone else or else remain unprofitable and hope that someone else will purchase whatever is left of the company.”

It looks like MyHeritage has successfully achieved the first part of that plan: becoming very profitable.

Feb 24, 2021

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