2012 has been an incredibly exciting year at MyHeritage and, as we stand on the cusp of 2013, here's a quick look at some of the highlights.
We kicked off the year by partnering with Family Tree DNA to introduce DNA testing for genealogy. DNA genetic genealogy testing can help you discover more relatives by comparing your results to a growing database of hundreds of thousands of people.
The results may match you to a living relative with whom you share a common ancestor who may have lived hundreds of years ago.
The results can also reveal ethnic backgrounds, providing more insight into where your ancestors may have lived and thus more clues as to where to search. As a company, we always try and think of creative ways, like offering DNA testing, to go that extra mile. In March we added printed family calendars to our range of products.
You've already invested time inputting your family's' birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates, into your family tree, and with one click you can transfer that information into a beautiful family calendar with all your family photos and important dates automatically included.
The 1940 US Federal Census was one of 2012's highlights. The census, a genealogy goldmine, was released in April and MyHeritage was the first commercial organization to publish all the census images online. We were also the first company to offer indexed records letting people search the census without having to know exactly where their relative lived in 1940.
We had a lot of fun finding out more about some of our favorite celebrities in the census which was picked up by the media.
At this time we also launched an update to MyHeritage's mobile app and included a research functionality to enable users to search the census records, and billions of other records, on the go.
While the 1940 Census buzz was at fever pitch, we announced a couple of senior executive appointments. We welcomed two industry heavyweights to the MyHeritage family - Russ Wilding as Chief Content Officer and Roger Bell as VP Product. Since joining the team, they've been travelling far and wide to find interesting and varied historical content collections and make them accessible for our users.
We'll always remember June, 2012 - when we reached 1 billion profiles - a major milestone for MyHeritage! TheNextWeb had this to say about it. View a video (below) of the celebration at the office when we hit that number!
In June, we launched SuperSearch - the family history search engine with billions of historical records and millions of public family trees. This is now the de-facto place for searching an enormous array of historical records such as birth, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, yearbooks and many more.
SuperSearch also boasts a fantastic newspaper collection- 120 million pages dating to the 18th century.
And following the SuperSearch launch, in September we introduced a new technology called Record Matching, which automatically notifies MyHeritage users about records in SuperSearch that match profiles in their family tree.
Randy Seaver, a leading genealogist and blogger, let us test Record Matching on his tree. Read about some of his previously unknown family history that Record Matching discovered for him and read what some of the experts had to say.
In November, we raised $25 million in financing to boost MyHeritage’s operations and allow MyHeritage to continue to grow and provide better services to our users.
And last, but by no means least, we acquired one of the leading family history websites - Geni.com. This was MyHeritage's eighth and largest acquisition. It was widely reported in the media and extended MyHeritage's network to 72 million registered users, 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees, containing the most internationally diverse family history content in the world. The Geni acquisition is still fresh, and we'll be continuing to operate both websites separately.
Users of both sites will receive matches with family trees of each other, and MyHeritage’s Record Matching technology will be added to Geni.com, so that their users will begin to have access to previously unavailable historical records.
As we look back on 2012 - we're really proud of what we accomplished. Our family grew, our historical records collection got much larger, and we launched exciting technologies and products.
We achieved everything we could have hoped for, and more.
In 2013, we'll be focusing on providing even more historical content and technologies to make family history accessible for all.
We look forward to a year even more exciting than the last. We thank you all for your ongoing support and for being a part of the MyHeritage family.