Genealogy company Ancestry.com is going for an initial public offering (IPO) hoping to raise about $75 million in the process. The plans were laid out in an SEC filing yesterday. The economy isn't bouncing back just yet but this is a good sign as, after four quarters of no venture-backed IPO, things started to pick up in the second quarter, with several IPOs, and it looks like the trend is continuing.
Ancestry.com, based in Provo, Utah, goes back 25 years and has been online for the last 12. It changed its name from The Generations Network to Ancestry.com Inc. last month, in anticipation of the IPO. The company offers genealogy-related services through a series of associated brands like Ancestry.com, Family Tree Maker, myfamily.com, MyCanvas, Rootsweb, Genealogy.com, Jiapu.com and a number of international sites, and now employs over 600 people.
“The foundation of our service is an extensive and unique collection of billions of historical records that we have digitized, indexed and put online over the past 12 years. We have developed efficient and proprietary systems for digitizing handwritten historical documents, and have established relationships with national, state and local government archives, historical societies, religious institutions and private collectors of historical content around the world,” the company describes itself in the SEC filing.
The company boasts over 1 million subscribers and estimates an average revenue of $16.50 per user per month. Ancestry.com had a revenue of almost $200 million in 2008, up from $123 million in 2004, and brought in close to $100 million in the first six months of this year, with profits of $8 million. Previous investor Spectrum Equity Investors bought a majority stake in the company in October 2007 for about $300 million but it isn't the sole stake holder, with other investors and employees retaining shares. The company also raised $95 million in three previous funding rounds.