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Type Private
Industry Genetic genealogy
Founded 2003
Founder(s) Gilad Japhet (CEO)
Headquarters Or Yehuda and Tel Aviv, Israel
Area served International
Products Website registration required
Family history website offerring
1) Family Tree Builder
2) MyHeritage DNA

MyHeritage is an online genealogy platform with web, mobile, and software products and services.[1][2][3] Users of the platform can create family trees, upload and browse through photos, and search billions of global historical records, among other features.[4][5][6] As of 2015, the service supports 42 languages and has around 80 million users worldwide.[7][8] In January 2017 it was reported that MyHeritage has 35 million family trees on its website.[9] The company is headquartered in Or Yehuda, Israel[10] with additional offices in Tel Aviv,[11] Lehi, Utah,[12] and Burbank, California.


2003–2007: Foundation and early years

Original MyHeritage office in the village of Bnei Atarot, Israel

MyHeritage was founded in 2003 by Gilad Japhet (who continues to serve as the company's CEO).[1] Japhet started the company from his living room in the moshav of Bnei Atarot. For a long time, the company's headquarters were located in a family farmhouse in Bnei Atarot.[13] In its infancy, MyHeritage was almost completely self-funded but had received funds from angel investors by 2005. It switched from a free service to a freemium business model.[1]

Early on, MyHeritage required users to upload genealogical information from desktop software. The information could be viewed online, but could not be altered.[14] In 2006, MyHeritage introduced new features including facial recognition software that recognized facial features from a database of photographs to link individuals together.[15][16] In December 2006, the company acquired Pearl Street Software which was the creator of family tree software (Family Tree Legends) and a family tree submission site (GenCircles) with over 160 million profiles and 400 million public records.[17]

By 2007, MyHeritage had 150,000 family trees, 180 million people profiles, 100 million photos, and 17.2 million users worldwide. The service was available in 17 languages. The company also began offering a new web-based feature that allowed users to upload genealogical information directly to the MyHeritage site. MyHeritage had also received a total of $9 million in investor funding, half of which had come from Accel.[14]

2008–2012: Acquisitions and expansion

MyHeritage headquarters in Or Yehuda, Israel

In 2008, MyHeritage raised $15 million from an investment group including Index Ventures and Accel.[18] At that time, the website had grown to 260 million people profiles, 25 million users, 230 million photos, and 25 supported languages.[19] Soon after securing funding, MyHeritage acquired Kindo, a UK-based family tree building service.[20] In 2009, the company released a new version of their free genealogy software, Family Tree Builder, which included the ability to sync between the software and the website.[6]

In 2010, the company acquired Germany-based OSN Group, a family tree website network with seven genealogy sites under its name. Some websites in the OSN network included in Germany, in Poland, and in the United States. The acquisition provided MyHeritage with several new features (including coats of arms, family tree merging, and an option to venture into mobile applications) and a total of 540 million people profiles, 47 million active users, and 13 million family trees.[21] In 2011, those numbers increased to 760 million people profiles and 56 million users after MyHeritage acquired Poland-based, another genealogy website.[22]

Other 2011 acquisitions included the Dutch family network, Zooof; BackupMyTree, a backup service designed to protect up to 9 terabytes of offline family history data;[23] and FamilyLink, a developer of family history content sites and owner of a large database of historical records (, which included census, birth, death, and marriage records along with an archive of historical newspapers). By the end of 2011, MyHeritage had 60 million users, 900 million people profiles, 21 million family trees, and was available in 38 different languages.[24] The company also released the first version of its mobile app for iOS and Android devices.[25]

In 2012, MyHeritage surpassed 1 billion people profiles and launched several new features including SuperSearch, a search engine for billions of historical records, and Record Matching, a technology that automatically compares MyHeritage's historical records to the profiles on the site and alerts users whenever a match is found for a relative in their family tree.[26][27][28]

In November 2012, MyHeritage acquired one of its primary competitors, The company kept all of Geni's employees and operated the company as a separate brand in Los Angeles, California].[29] Founded by David Sacks in 2007, Geni is a genealogy website with the goal of "creating a family tree of the whole world."[30] The acquisition added 7 million new users to MyHeritage, bringing the total number of members to 72 million.[4] At the time, MyHeritage also had 27 million family trees and 1.5 billion profiles and was available in 40 languages.[31] In addition to the acquisition of Geni, MyHeritage also raised $25 million in a funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.[4]

2013–present: Partnerships, further growth, and beyond

In 2013, MyHeritage entered into a strategic partnership to allow FamilySearch to use its technologies to allow its users to help find ancestors more easily. At the time of the deal, MyHeritage had 75 million registered users and 1.6 billion people profiles.[5] The company also gained access to all United States census records from 1790 to 1940.[32] In April 2013, MyHeritage released Family Tree Builder 7.0 which included new features like sync, Unicode, and Record Matches.[33] MyHeritage also introduced a web feature called Record Detective that automatically makes connections between different historical records.[34]

In 2014, MyHeritage announced partnerships and collaborations with numerous companies and entities. In February 2014, the company partnered with BillionGraves to digitize and document graves and cemeteries worldwide.[35] In October 2014, the company partnered with EBSCO Information Services to provide educational institutions (libraries, universities, etc.) with free access to MyHeritage's database of historical records.[36] In December 2014, MyHeritage entered into an agreement with the Danish National Archives to index Census and Parish records from 1646 to 1930 (a total of around 120 million records).[37] The company also surpassed 5 billion historical records in their database in 2014[11] and launched the Instant Discoveries feature, which enables users to add whole branches of relatives to their family tree at once.[38]

In 2015, MyHeritage reached 6.3 billion historical records,[12] 80 million registered users, and availability in 42 languages.[7] It also released the Global Name Translation technology which automatically translates names from different languages to make searching for ancestors more efficient.[12]

In March 2016, employees of MyHeritage recorded and preserved the family history of remote peoples in the Highlands Region of Papua New Guinea.[39]

Products and services

MyHeritage's products and services exist in the spheres of web, mobile, and downloadable software.[1][2][3] The company's website,, works on a freemium business model. It is free to sign up and begin building family trees and making matches. The website will provide excerpts from historical records and newspapers, or from other family trees, but in order to read full versions of those documents, or confirm relationships, the user will have to have a paid subscription. Additionally, only paid users can contact other members.[40]

The MyHeritage online database contains 6.3 billion historical records,[12] including census, birth, marriage, death, military, and immigration documents along with historical newspapers.[24] The SuperSearch feature allows users to search through the site's entire catalog of historical records to find information about potential family members.[26][28] Users may also upload photos to their family trees.[32] MyHeritage's mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices and offers a range of similar features including the ability to view and edit family trees, research historical databases, and capture and share photos.[3]

Matching technologies

MyHeritage uses several matching technologies for family history research. These include Smart Matching, Record Matching, Record Detective, Instant Discoveries, Global Name Translation, and Search Connect. Smart Matching is used to cross-reference one user's family tree with the family trees of all other users. The feature allows users to utilize information about their families from other, possibly related users.[2] Record Matching is similar except that it matches and compares family trees to historical records rather than other family trees.[26][27]

Record Detective is a technology that links related historical records based on information from one historical record. It also uses existing family trees to make connections between records (for instance, a death certificate and a marriage license).[34] Instant Discoveries is a feature that compares users' family trees to other family trees and records, and then instantly shows them a large amount of information about their family found in these sources, packaged as an entire new branch they can add to their trees.[38] Global Name Translation allows users to search for a relative in their preferred language but get historical documents with their relative's name in other languages.[12]

Search Connect is a feature announced by MyHeritage in July 2015 and released in November that same year.[41] The feature indexes search queries along with their metadata dates, places, relatives, etc. and then displays them in search results when others perform a similar search. The feature allows users performing similar searches to connect with each other for collaboration.[42]

Family Tree Builder

Family Tree Builder is freemium downloadable software that allows users to build family trees, upload photos, view charts and statistics, and more. [43]

MyHeritage DNA

MyHeritage DNA is a genetic testing service launched by MyHeritage in November 2016.[44] DNA results are obtained from home test kits, allowing users to use cheek swabs to collect samples. The results provide DNA matching and ethnicity estimates.[44]

MyHeritage DNA also accepts free transfers for people who have tested with other companies (23andMe, AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA). For details see MyHeritage DNA Upload.

Awards and recognition

In 2013, MyHeritage was selected by Globes as the most promising Israeli startup for 2013–2014. The company was ranked number one out of a possible 4,800 startups.[45] Also in 2013, Deloitte ranked MyHeritage among the top 10 fastest-growing companies from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) on the Deloitte Fast 500 list.[46]


Blog posts

External links

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gobry, Pascal-Emmanuel (18 July 2011). "How A Startup No One Would Touch Crushed Silicon Valley Moguls And Became A Giant". Business Insider. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Meyer, David (19 September 2012). "MyHeritage automates record-matching as genealogy wars heat up". Gigaom. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "MyHeritage Releases Redesigned Mobile App for Family History". Business Wire. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lynley, Matthew (28 November 2012). "MyHeritage Raises $25 Million, Aquires Geni". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lardinois, Frederic (15 October 2013). "MyHeritage Partners With FamilySearch To Add Billions Of Historical Records To Its Genealogy Database". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Noff, Ayelet (13 August 2009). "MyHeritage Releases New Version of Family Tree Builder". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rudenko, Ganna (29 April 2015). "Anna Milkman: You shouldn’t think that manna from heaven is everywhere here". Jewish News. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  8. "MyHeritage". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  9. Leichman, Abigail Klein (9 January 2017). "The Israeli firms that do well by doing good". Israel21c. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  10. Friedman, Gabe (17 June 2015). "Global Family Reunion a triumph for online genealogy". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Lardinois, Frederic (28 April 2014). "MyHeritage Passes 5 Billion Historical Records, Adds 5 Million Daily". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Gorrell, Mike (13 July 2015). "MyHeritage breaks down language barriers". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  13. Venkataramanan, Madhumita (17 April 2014). "MyHeritage: reuniting the war's lost families". Wired UK. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Arrington, Michael (28 August 2007). "MyHeritage Takes 180 Million People Profiles To War With Geni". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  15. Crean, Ellen (25 November 2006). "Family Trees Grow Online". CBS News. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  16. Heim, Joe (29 January 2006). "". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  17. Deleon, Nicholas (22 August 2007). "MyHeritage Expands Its Family Tree". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  18. Pfauth, Ernst-Jan (8 September 2008). "MyHeritage raises $15 million from Index and Accel". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  19. Arrington, Michael (6 September 2008). "Family Tree Wars Continue: MyHeritage Raises Big Round, Shows Impressive Growth". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  20. Pfauth, Ernst-Jan (23 September 2008). "MyHeritage adds another branch to its tree: Kindo". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  21. Lacy, Sarah (2 February 2010). "MyHeritage Buys Germany's OSN, Now 540 Million Profiles Strong". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  22. Wauters, Robin (7 June 2011). "Exclusive: MyHeritage acquires Poland's, now 760 million profiles strong". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  23. Wauters, Robin (20 September 2011). " Acquires Family Tree Backup Service BackupMyTree". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  24. "MyHeritage Unveils Innovative Mobile Family Tree App". Business Wire. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  25. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Knowles, Jamillah (11 June 2012). "MyHeritage hits 1 billion profiles and announces new features for historical research". The Next Web. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  26. 27.0 27.1 Lunden, Ingrid (28 November 2012). "All In The Family: MyHeritage Buys Former Yammer Stablemate In An 8-Figure Deal, Raises $25M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  27. 28.0 28.1 "MyHeritage Releases SuperSearch - a State of the Art Search Engine for Family History". Business Wire. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  28. Evangelista, Benny (28 November 2012). "Family tree site Geni, which begat Yammer, sold to rival MyHeritage". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  29. Arrington, Michael (12 January 2007). "PayPal, Pulp Fiction and Geni". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  30. Grant, Rebecca (28 November 2012). "MyHeritage acquires Geni and $25M to build family tree of the whole world". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  31. 32.0 32.1 Weverbergh, Raf (May 2013). "This Israeli startup has more profiles than Facebook (and no bots among them): the MyHeritage story". Whiteboard Magazine. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  32. "MyHeritage releases Family Tree Builder 7.0". Inside History. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  33. 34.0 34.1 "MyHeritage Launches Record Detective™ to Accelerate Family History Discoveries". Business Wire. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  34. "MyHeritage, BillionGraves to digitalize world's cemeteries". Globes. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  35. "MyHeritage Partners with EBSCO Information Services to Bring MyHeritage to Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide". Business Wire. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  36. "MyHeritage to Digitize and Add More Than 120 Million Historical Records from Denmark". Business Wire. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  37. 38.0 38.1 Lardinois, Frederic (10 December 2014). "MyHeritage Wants To Bring Genealogy To The Mainstream With Instant Discoveries". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  38. Leichman, Abigail Klein (2 May 2016). "Israelis salvage the personal stories of Papua New Guinea". Israel21c. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  39. Gutjahr, Richard (1 January 2015). "Interview with Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of". Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  40. "First Look at New Search Connect Feature on My Heritage". Genea Musings. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  41. "Introducing Search Connect - every search is now a record!". MyHeritage blog. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  42. Brandt, Clare (6 August 2012). "Family Tree Builder Makes It Easy and Fun to Trace Your Lineage". PC World. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  43. 44.0 44.1 Lardinois, Frederic (7 November 2016). "MyHeritage launches DNA testing service to help you uncover your family’s history". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  44. Goldenberg, Roy (17 October 2013). ""Globes" names MyHeritage most promising start-up". Globes. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  45. Nissan, Yossi (1 December 2013). "3 Israeli tech cos make Deloitte European top ten". Globes. Retrieved 2 November 2015.