In fact, this week the company hit another milestone: an IPO. Ancestry.com issued 7.4 million shares at $13.50 each. The expected price range was $12.50 to $14.50.
Founded in 1983, Ancestry.com started as a traditional business, but in the early days, it made the right moves to transition to the Internet. Now, the site has more than one million subscribers.
At the core of Ancestry.com is its extensive database, which has billions of historical records. To help deal with this, the website also has a sophisticated search engine as well as an ability for users to upload and categorize their own content. For example, there are more than 12 million user-generated family trees with 1.25 billion profiles and 26 million photos.
As for the financials, Ancestry.com continues to eke out growth. Revenues were up 13% to $107.8 million for the first half of this year. Earnings came to $8.2 million.
But how much growth can Ancestry.com pump out? Keep in mind that the bulk of the website's business comes from the U.S., which could be at a saturation point (the churn rate is also at 4%). So, to find growth, it's likely that Ancestry.com will need to get aggressive with foreign expansion, which is certainly costly.
At the same time, Ancestry.com is likely to face more intensive competitive threats, such as from Facebook (which is rapidly collecting information on people's lives across the world) and perhaps Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
The lead underwriters on the IPO included Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).
Tom Taulli is the author of various books, including The Complete M&A Handbook.