One of the biggest consumer biotechnology innovations of the past decade has been the ability to analyze DNA to track health and ancestry, all from the comfort of one’s own home. Today, genealogy services are huge in popularity and offer an expanding list of features across platforms, from medical predisposition charts to the haplogroup of one’s most distant ancestor.
At-home DNA testing is a growing market and has allowed consumers to dig into their pasts to learn about their ancestors and ethnic heritage. The technology also has healthcare applications, allowing users to identify their predisposition to certain genetic conditions. Even more recently, consumer DNA testing has been used in law enforcement as a way to track the genealogy of suspects or victims, leading to breakthroughs in cold cases.
MyHeritage.com is one of the fastest growing genealogy services to date. The Israeli company currently has 62 million users and is available in 42 languages. It also has 32 billion historical records, to help fill some of the gaps in information that come with traditional DNA testing. They also offer family tree creation software, which helped lead to the capture of the Golden State Killer in 2018.
Now, after almost 18 years in the market, and 11 of its own profit-boosting acquisitions, the company has agreed to be acquired by Francisco Partners, for a market-estimated $600 million. CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet will remain the active lead of the company in its future endeavors.
One of the key priorities for the new capital is bolstering its cybersecurity. An unfortunate lapse in such led to a data breach in 2018, and since, the company has begun ramping up its dedication to securing customer data. It is also updating its private policy to assure customers that their data will not be sold or distributed by the platform to third parties.
Along with this, the company will further be investing into its operational software, which includes AI learning technology that colorizes and transcribes their database of historical records and documents. Its pro bono projects DNAQuest and TribeQuest will likely continue expansion as well, along with its pop-up COVID testing facilities throughout Israel.
The acquisition is set to be finalized later this year and will help MyHeritage grow even further in the market of genealogy services. Eran Gorev, Francisco Partners’ President of Israel and Senior Operating Partner said, “By leveraging our operational expertise, market resources and strong industry networks, we believe Francisco Partners is uniquely positioned to help MyHeritage accelerate its vision for growth.”