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MyHeritage buys Geni.com, raises $25 million in private funding round

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Family networking and genealogy website MyHeritage said it bought rival Geni.com as it continues to expand into the United States.

The Israeli company did not disclose how much it paid for Los Angeles-based Geni.com but said it was an eight-figure deal in a combination of cash and equity.

MyHeritage, which helps people delve into their ancestry and connect with long-lost relatives, is second in the sector behind market leader Ancestry.com, which agreed last month to be bought for $1.6 billion by a group led by Europe-based private equity firm Permira Advisors LLC

The acquisition is the first of the year for MyHeritage but eighth and largest since 2005. A year ago, it bought Utah-based FamilyLink.com.

MyHeritage also said it raised $25 million in a funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, while existing investors Index Ventures and Accel Partners also participated. The company has raised $49 million in total.

The funds will be used to boost growth of its historical content services and expand commercial operations worldwide. It said it will also enable MyHeritage, whose network has 72 million registered users, 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees, to explore further mergers and acquisition opportunities.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)