Friday, June 27
Family Tree: Possibly the largest online genealogy service you've never heard of
New York City based Familybuilder, the company behind the genealogy service Family Tree, has turned one, and it's possibly the largest service of its kind you've never heard of.
Unlike competitors who offers genealogy as a stand alone product, Family Tree is offered as a social networking site application, and currently supports Facebook (it was the first genealogy service on FB), Bebo, MySpace, Hi5, and Orkut. Familybuilder's Family Tree leverages the social graphs of the social networks it resides on, allowing users to find and communicate with relatives, build family trees, preserve family history, track family activity and more.
The company has taken two rounds of funding, $250-$500k in seed in August 2007 and an additional $1.5m in February this year.
Facebook apps can be a dime a dozen, and I've had an aversion in the past to covering them, but what struck me with Familybuilder is an impressive range of numbers from a company I'd previously not heard of. Family Tree has over 16 million profiles built in the Familybuilder network with over 3.5 million users and growing. Over 2 million new family tree profiles are being created every month. According to comScore, Familybuilder is the 4th most trafficked online genealogy service as of March 2008.
Perhaps it is by its very nature (a social network site app) that Familybuilder isn't getting more publicity (I looked, its under-reported for its numbers). Sometimes a shiny site and Silicon Valley address can work is ones favor, and Familybuilder has neither. What ever the reason, with numbers like this, it's a company we'll be watching in the future