07 June 2011

Poland: MyHeritage acquisition of Bliscy.pl will help researchers

Readers searching their Polish ancestry should be delighted by the latest MyHeritage.com acquisition of Bliscy.pl from Wirtualna Polska S.A., strengthening its leadership in the family history market and expanding its international community of users.

The most popular family network on the web, MyHeritage now offers 18 million family trees, 56 million registered users and 760 million profiles in a private and secure online environment. The move added more than 500,000 Bliscy.pl users to the global MyHeritage.com family network, which now has a Polish user base of more than 2.6 million users.

Translation: Finding relatives in Poland is now easier than ever!

Tools and technologies for managing family connections online with MyHeritage.com include the free software Family Tree Builder (available also in Polish); Smart Matching™ technology to discover matches between family trees across different languages, pronunciations and spellings; and advanced facial recognition technology for automatic tagging of family photos.

The acquisition was announced this morning on TechCrunch, and here is the MyHeritage Blog post. Here's some of the official press release:
“Having established ourselves as the leading international destination for families to connect to their past and to one another – acquiring Bliscy.pl is a natural step that enriches our global family network" said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage.com. "Our service and flagship Smart Matching™ technology enjoy a network effect, providing more value as more people use them. For this reason, this acquisition delivers great value both to the Bliscy.pl users and to the users of MyHeritage.com. Our international network of users consists of millions of families with roots in Poland, who will now find it even easier to connect to long-lost relatives and discover more about their unique family histories”.

MyHeritage.com holds a formidable international registered member base of more than 56 million and offers its services in 36 languages. As a market of increasing strategic and economic importance, the acquisition reaffirms the company’s foothold in Central Europe.  As Europe’s sixth largest economy, Poland is an economic power house within Central Europe, possessing more than 40% of 500 of the region’s largest companies measured by turnover. Since the end of the communist era in 1989, Poland has demonstrated significant development potential – with a high-income economy and ranking amongst the highest GDP growth rates in the EU.

Following massive migration, the number of ethnic Poles living abroad is estimated to be some 20 million, with the largest concentrations of 10 million and 1.6 million living in the USA and Germany respectively, countries where MyHeritage.com enjoys a mass-market following. 

The acquisition of Bliscy.pl marks the third major acquisition by MyHeritage.com within the last 18 months, following the acquisition of European family network OSN GmbH and its network of 10 market-leading family sites including verwandt.de, moikrewni.pl and verwant.nl, and Dutch Family Network ZOOOF. By merging the family networks into one international platform, MyHeritage.com is building a worldwide Family Graph that has grown to more than 18 million family trees and 760 million profiles.
According to Wirtualna Polska director of business development Anna Kesicka:
“The sale of Bliscy.pl is a continuation of our strategy to focus on expanding content, a key company goal for 2011. We place high value on cooperating with companies who are an ideal fit from a strategic business perspective. As the world’s largest family network, MyHeritage.com fits the bill, providing Bliscy.pl users with vast international platform for exploring family connections and a feature rich site to help users keep in touch with their family in Poland and around the globe.”
Definitely a big plus for researchers of Polish ancestry

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