Banking on Ancestry.com

Banking on Ancestry.com

A private equity firm purchases a majority interest in The Generations Network.

A private equity firm has purchased a majority interest in The Generations Network (TGN), parent company of Ancestry. com <Ancestry.com >, DNA Ancestry <dna.ancestry.com>, Family Tree Maker software <familytreemaker.com>, Roots Web <rootsweb.com> and other products.

Spectrum Equity Investors was already a partial stakeholder in TGN when it agreed to pay $300 million for a majority interest. Two Spectrum managing partners will join TGN president and CEO Tim Sullivan on the new board of directors. Other terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed.

Your experience as an Ancestry.com subscriber won’t change as a direct result of the sale, Sullivan says, “Other than the very rapid pace of innovation we’ve built into our cycle in the past year; and we hope to maintain that, even to accelerate it.”

“The firm that’s buying our company is buying our vision,” he adds. “They like what we’re doing and they want us to keep doing that.” Sullivan also promised RootsWeb, the free site the company purchased in 2000, would stay online and free. 

TGN’s online properties boast 900,000 paying subscribers; they receive 8.2 million unique visitors and more than 429 million page views a month. According to the Web news site TechCrunch, TGN rakes in around $150 million in revenue annually.

From the March 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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