Ancestry.com buys Adpay, Memoriams.com owner

19 May 2016

Adpay, one of the long-time vendors serving newspapers and media companies with white-label back-end classified software, has a new owner.

Ancestry.com LLC, a Utah-based company that also owns the online archive Newspapers.com (and of course the genealogy site Ancestry.com), bought Adpay in a deal announced today (but dated yesterday). Terms were not announced.  CEO Mike Heene is expected to stay with the company, which he co-founded in 2002 with Mike Rieger. The rest of 28 employees, including EVP Deb Dreyfuss-Tuchman, are also expected to stay on. The company in Englewood, Colo., near Denver.

During the past few years, Adpay has placed an increasing emphasis on its Memoriams.com platform, a tool for newspapers to use for placement of obituaries in their own newspapers and also to cross-sell them into other newspapers. Some newspapers have reported revenue increases of 30 percent or more in the obit category after launching Memoriams.com.

Adpay started as a general-classified software provider, and was a very early adopter of bid-now and negotiation services for people to use in competition with Craigslist and EBay. It developed the AdPay Classifieds Network to allow for regional content sharing and propagation among clients, so they had increased inventory in their classified sites.

It now works with thousands of newspapers, as well as broadcasters.

“Memoriams.com is a great addition to the Ancestry family,” Brian Hansen of Ancestry said in the news release. “Together with Newspapers.com, it enables us to help newspapers across the country strengthen and grow their business and presence in their communities.”

Heene called Ancestry “the perfect landing spot for us.”

“We are thrilled to be joining an organization that so clearly understands how digital platforms like ours can help newspapers grow their businesses,” he said.

Ancestry has been growing fast, with revenue in Q1 this year of almost $200 million and net income of $12.4 million, up more than 400 percent from Q1 of 2015. It is part-owned by Silver Lake and GIC, and was valued at about $2.6 billion in an ownership transaction on April 1. It had nearly 2.4 million million subscribers as of March 31.

 

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Peter M. Zollman

Peter M. Zollman brings more than 35 years of media experience to his role as founding principal of the AIM Group / Classified Intelligence Report. He has worked with a wide range of media companies, dot-coms, technology providers and start-ups to develop and expand successful interactive-media services. He is based in Altamonte Springs, Fla., near Orlando.