Empire Online magnate gambles on genealogy site
One of the major investors in the online gambling site Empire Online, Aviv Reis, has invested $3 million with a partner in the Israeli genealogy site MyHeritage.com.
Reis, who invested, along with Ilan Raviv, $2 million in Empire Online in 1999, returned his investment several times over when the company went public on the London exchange at a value of hundreds of millions of dollars.
MyHeritage, based in Bnei Atarot, was founded in 2003 by Gilad Japhet.
The site allows users to share family photos, showcase their family tree online, and organize family events.
Through the site's face recognition technology, users are also able to organize and auto-tag their digital photos. In addition, they can find their own photos or those of their ancestors submitted by other users, as well as discover ancestors and relatives based on facial similarity.
The site's search engine allows searches using hundreds of databases of biographical information and the building of online family trees through a wealth of information. Services are provided at a cost of several dollars a month.
"I'm investing in many different enterprises," Reis said, but he remarked that MyHeritage is one of the investments of which he is most fond. MyHeritage representatives will participate in an upcoming Silicon Valley exhibition of Israeli Internet companies for American investors and Internet firms.