Ancestry.com was bought for $1.5 billion by Permira Funds, one of the largest European private equity firms, in December 2012. Finding out who you really are and where you come from is certainly a lucrative business. Ancestry’s revenue for 2012 was $487.1 million, up 21.9% from the year before. What’s the family secret for growth? Ancestry is constantly acquiring “new collections” to satisfy its growing number of paying subscribers (2.5 million people pay a minimum of $12.95/month to search its 11 billion records). Ancestry’s latest list acquisitions include Canada Voters Lists (88 million) and Veteran’s Affairs Burial Ledgers (550,000).
The Ancestry brand is expanding as quickly as the world’s population. You can take your family tree wherever you go with the Ancestry app, and the AncestryDNA database now includes more than 120,000 DNA samples ($99 per test). It’s a lot to sort through. But no worries, subscribers can hire a genealogist (minimum consultation $1900) to help you sort out your family issues.