Foundry-backed Mocavo bought by a London family history company

June 25, 2014

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Boulder-based genealogy company Mocavo announced its acquisition by London-based Findmypast this week. Findmypast already has over 1.8 billion historical records; Mocavo’s innovative search engine is used by millions every year to research their family histories.

Mocavo, which was founded by CEO Cliff Shaw in 2011, is backed by $4 million from Foundry Group and $1 million from investors including Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Troy Henikoff of TechStars Chicago. Though the terms of the deal were undisclosed, Mocavo will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Findmypast.

Since it was founded, Mocavo has been an advocate for free genealogy and is now growing rapidly, putting more than 1,000 free databases online every day. Even with Mocavo’s acquisition, the company will still be committed to free, accessible data: right now the team is working on putting the complete US Census index online for free, making them the first commercial provider in history to do so.

The genealogy industry is rapidly growing as the Baby Boomer generation ages. And the industry is profitable, too: Ancestry.com was bought for $1.6 billion in 2012, the same year it reported over $1 billion in revenue. Now that Findmypast and Mocavo plan to band together, their customer reach will soar.

“Findmypast's strategy is about growth and the US market is key,” Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said in a statement. “Our purchase of Mocavo, combined with our existing US customer base, gives us an excellent platform for expansion in the world’s number one genealogy market.”

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