Seeking Alpha


4/17/2014, 8:55 AM ET
Quote & Analysis StockTalk Description’s mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history. is the world’s largest online family history resource, with more than one million paying subscribers around the world as of December 31, 2009. We have been a leader in the family history market for over 20 years and have helped pioneer the market for online family history research. We believe that most people have a fundamental desire to understand who they are and from where they came, and that anyone interested in discovering, preserving and sharing their family history is a potential user of We strive to make our service valuable to individuals ranging from the most committed family historians to those taking their first steps towards satisfying their curiosity about their family stories.

The foundation of our service is an extensive and unique collection of billions of historical records that we have digitized, indexed and put online over the past 13 years. We have developed efficient and proprietary systems for digitizing handwritten historical documents, and have established relationships with national, state and local government archives, historical societies, religious institutions and private collectors of historical content around the world. These digital records and documents, combined with our proprietary online search technologies and tools, enable our subscribers to research their family history, build their family trees and make meaningful discoveries about the lives of their ancestors.

We have built the world’s largest online community of people interested in their family histories, and we believe that this network is highly valuable to our subscribers. Our community is a large and growing source of user-generated content uniquely focused on family history. As of February 10, 2010, our registered users have created over 14 million family trees containing nearly 1.5 billion profiles. They have uploaded and attached to their trees a combination of nearly 32 million photographs, scanned documents and written stories. This growing pool of user-generated content adds color and context to the family histories assembled from the digitized historical documents found on Web sites. Our registered users also have attached to their trees over 450 million records from our company-acquired content collection, a process that is helping further organize this collection by associating specific records with people in family trees.

In addition, we continue to deploy tools and technologies to facilitate social networking and crowd sourcing, a means of leveraging collaborative efforts. These tools and technologies are intended to provide our subscribers with an expanding family history collaboration network in which insights and discoveries are shared by relatives, distant and close. Our service also provides a platform from which our subscribers can share their stories. Subscribers can invite family and friends to help build their family trees, add personal memories and upload photographs and stories of their own.

We provide ongoing value to our subscribers by regularly adding new historical content, enhancing our Web sites with new tools and features and enabling greater collaboration among our users through the growth of our global community. Our revenues have increased from $140.3 million in 2005 to $224.9 million in 2009, a compound annual growth rate of 12.5%. The compound annual growth rate of revenues from our Web sites from 2005 to 2009 was approximately 17%. Web sites On, subscribers can efficiently search through birth, marriage and death records, census records, immigration documents, photographs, maps, military records, personal narratives and newspapers. Our collection includes the digitized United States Federal Census available from 1790 to 1930 and over 180 million immigration records, including passenger lists from ships arriving at United States ports from 1820 to 1960, including Ellis Island. Our subscribers can also access records from specialized databases, such as the approximately 100 million names contained in military records dating from the seventeenth century to the end of the Vietnam War, our African-American records collection, including slave narratives, our Jewish history collection, including Holocaust survivor lists, and our Native American collection, including applications for enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes. In addition, subscribers to have access to a global collection of records from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, including United Kingdom and Canadian census collections and baptism, marriage, death and burial records from the London Metropolitan Archives, as well as records from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and China.

Registered users can create family trees and attach their own records to those trees. Subscribers can search company-acquired and user-generated content and attach relevant records from our content collections to individuals in their family trees. Users have made over 85% of the trees on public, along with associated user-generated content, offering many subscribers a substantial head start in their family history research by allowing them to populate their own trees with information collected by registered users with common ancestry. Our users attached an average of over five million records per week to their trees and accepted an average of nearly five million hints per week for the quarter ended December 2009.

Our Member Connect service is a family history collaboration network that connects subscribers who share common ancestors. This collaboration network facilitates the sharing of insights and discoveries among distant and close relatives and creates a social component to the subscriber experience. Subscribers and registered users can also share their family trees and research with friends and relatives. Users can invite others to help build their trees and upload user-generated content of their own. In addition, our users have access to an online learning center, technical support, educational webinars and community message boards.

We offer two subscription packages on, U.S. Deluxe and World Deluxe, and subscribers primarily choose annual or monthly subscription periods. Registered users who are not subscribers can create free family trees online, can upload family photos, stories and documents to their tree, and will receive hints to relevant records from our content collections. Subscribers to our U.S. Deluxe package gain unlimited access to the complete United States collection of records, including the ability to view images of original records. They also can communicate and collaborate with other members of the subscriber network. Our World Deluxe plan includes unlimited access to all of the content we offer, including the content from our U.S. Deluxe plan and our global collection of records.

We offer registered users a 14-day free trial. We charge a subscriber the full period subscription amount at the beginning of each subscription period. All subscriptions renew automatically unless cancelled, which can be done easily online or by telephone.

International Web sites. Generally, our international Web sites are modeled on our United States Web site and offer similar services in the local market language, including family tree creation, collections of digitized historical records obtained from local market archival sources, as well as user-generated content. We currently operate country-specific Web sites for seven countries, in addition to the United States — the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden. We offer country-specific subscriptions, tailored to the local market, and World Deluxe subscriptions on each of our international Web sites.

Other Products and Web sites

Family Tree Maker. Family Tree Maker is the leading family history desktop software on the market, with over 1.4 million units distributed since 2004. Most Family Tree Maker versions include a limited subscription to the Web site. DNA. We sell DNA testing kits that help people learn more about their family history and ancient ancestry. Expert Connect. Our Expert Connect product is a genealogist marketplace that connects people with professional genealogists around the world. is our global, multi-language family history networking service intended for markets in which we do not have a local presence. We are investing in the further development of, our China Web site focused on family networking and ancestral family history. is a digital publishing platform that allows people to design and order high-quality customized photo books, calendars and posters using discoveries made on is a family networking service that provides families with a safe and secure “home on the web” where they can share photos, videos, stories, news, calendars and family history insights.

Other sites. is a free genealogy community on the Internet. is a legacy service that offers a collection of family and local histories, vital records content and military records, most of which are also available on