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April 10, 2009

“Who’s your Daddy?” Online Genealogy Service Offers DNA Testing

Familybuilder Announces Affordable New Service

Based in New York City, New York, Familybuilder is an internet software company that helps users locate and build their family trees.   According to FamilyBuilder, its feature product, Family Tree, is the only service available that combines a family tree building service across the internet and social networks.  An online genealogy service, Family Tree is runs its application on various social networks including Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Hi5 and Orkut.

Launched in 2007, Familybuilder is the fastest growing internet genealogy service available allowing users to communicate with relatives, preserve history, track family activity and build family trees. In June of 2008, over 16 million family trees were created by 3.5 million people on Familybuilder.  Over 2 million new family trees are created monthly.  According to Comscore, it was ranked among the top 5 trafficked genealogy service online as of March 2008.

Familybuilder’s product line includes Family Tree and its recently introduced Familybuilder DNA.
Launched in December, 2008 Familybuilder DNA is an affordable maternal and paternal DNA test using cheek swabs with all DNA samples are processed through FamilyBuilder’s laboratory.  Familybuilder is offering its Familybuilder DNA program at an introductory price of $97.95, a price far below currently available DNA testing on the market.

One of the most used online genealogy services, Family builder is rated among the ten genealogy services worldwide.  According to Adonomics, Familybuilder is listed as one of the top 50 Facebook applications. 

In February of 2008, Familybuilder raised funds in Series A Round of venture capital financing.  Financing was led by DN Capital, based in London. A total of $1.5 million dollars was raised.   A privately held organization, Familybuilder has an employee base of 6.

Privately held, Familybuilder was founded by Andrew Merkatz and Ilya Nikolayev.  The company is led by  Mr. Merkatz as Chairman of Familybuilder bringing over 15 years experience in entrepreneurial management, equity investment, mergers and acquisitions to the company.  Mr Merkatz is also affiliated with Vision Capital Advisors and is the founder and Managing partner of CountryRoad Capital LLC.   Mr. Nikolayev is Chief Executive Officer and has previous experience with JP Morgan Chase and is the holder of several patents.  David Blinder is Chief Technical Officer with over 16 years experience in entrepreneurial ventures and working with internet businesses.

Competitors include Geni, Family-Mingle Genoom, MyHeritage.

DNA Capital is a private equity firm providing early stage capital and growth equity to firms in the digital media and software markets. DNA Capital has invested in Online Exchange, Eyerka,  Shazam, MoreMagic and Endeca.