Message from our CEO: Tim Sullivan
At Ancestry.com, we’ve been helping people discover, preserve, and share their family history for 30 years since our founding in 1983. And as an internet company, we’ve been the clear leader in online family history ever since we launched our Ancestry.com website 17 years ago.
We’re proud of the way that we have made family history easier, more accessible, and more fun for millions of people around the world. Today, we have millions of subscribers to our family history websites around the world, but we believe that there are millions more families out there that we can help make amazing discoveries about their family history in the years ahead.
Our members join Ancestry.com for many reasons - to explore roots, discover their ethnicity, and to seek community with distant, perhaps unknown, relatives. Our members have made more than six billion connections with other members who potentially share a common ancestor since adding our family tree feature to the site in 2008.
In the 17 years that we’ve been online, we’ve digitized billions of family history records of all descriptions from 40 countries reaching back to the late 1300s, enabling our members to create millions of family trees. Ancestry.com servers handle 40 million searches daily and we have expanded the Ancestry.com experience to reach mobile and social media worlds.
Ancestry.com is a consumer-facing technology company. Like many consumer-tech leaders, we provide an easy-to-use interface that conceals the power and sophistication of our infrastructure, Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and state-of-the-art search solutions. We are also harnessing the latest in the field of genomics to create our revolutionary AncestryDNA product, which enables members to go even deeper in their family history research.
Personally, I love coming to work each day because we are a company with a unique challenge and opportunity - we’re investing in technologies, user experience, and historical content with the focused goal of making our service better and better for our existing users, but also easier and more accessible for those just getting started exploring something about their family history.
Tim Sullivan, CEO
Our mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.
Ancestry.com Inc. is the world’s largest online resource for family history with approximately 2.7 million paying subscribers across all family history sites. Since starting as a publishing company in 1983, we have been a leader in the family history market for nearly 30 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 Ancestry.com. 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 since 1996. 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. Our registered users have created more than 50 million family trees containing more than 5 billion profiles. They have uploaded and attached to their trees over 175 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 Ancestry.com. Our subscribers also have attached to their trees over 2 billion 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 are beginning 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 websites with new tools and features and enabling greater collaboration among our users through the growth of our global community. Our plan to achieve long-term and sustainable growth is to increase our subscriber base in the United States and around the world by serving our loyal base of existing subscribers and by attracting new subscribers. Our revenues have increased from $166 million in 2007 to $487 million in 2012. The company is majority owned by Permira funds, along with certain minority co-investors.