Ancestry.com on Wednesday purchased Archives.com (above) from Inflection for $100 million.
Chalk any uptick in midweek traffic at the Kobe Steakhouse in west Omaha this week up to patronage from the folks at Inflection.
Inflection’s employees were, after all, in something of a celebratory mood. The company on Wednesday announced the sale of its family history website, Archives.com, to Ancestry.com for $100 million in cash.
Inflection, a big data startup founded in 2006, has its headquarters in Silicon Valley. But the company opened an Omaha office in late 2008, and the location now houses nearly 40 of Inflection’s 150 or so employees. The bulk of those Omaha employees work in member services.
Once the sale is completed, Ancestry.com will continue to operate and develop Archives.com using the existing Archives.com brand and website. Most of the Archives.com team will transition to Ancestry.com. But that movement won’t have any effect on the size of the workforce in Omaha, Inflection co-founder and CEO Matthew Monahan said in a phone call today.
“We are not transitioning anyone from Omaha into the Ancestry family, and Ancestry will service the customers on Archives from its member services center and contact centers in Utah,” Monahan (left) said. “And so obviously that begs the question of, well, what are our team members going to do in Omaha? The reality is we have a lot of opportunities.
“So no one’s losing their jobs. We’re extremely happy to have everyone that we have in Omaha.”
In fact, Monahan said, plans are in place to continue expanding the Omaha office. The company recently brought aboard its first quality assurance and IT employees at the location, and further diversification of the workforce could be in store.
“We’re really starting to leverage different talents and skills that Omaha has to offer in addition to the contact centers,” Monahan said.
“We believe that Omaha is a great location for us. We’re very happy we’re staying, and we’re also excited to continue to add some of these other functions.”
From a big-picture perspective, Monahan said the sale of Archives.com makes sound strategic sense for his company, which was established as a platform that could be used across several different verticals and didn’t get into the business of family history until 2009.
“I think it made sense in part because it was a way to not only bring capital into the business but also bring capital to shareholders in a very efficient way,” Monahan said, noting that Inflection isn’t giving up any stock in the deal.
Monahan said Inflection’s focus will now be devoted largely to PeopleSmart.com, a people search and public records website, and Identity.com, a new product designed to help people manage their online identity. The company also plans to more aggressively pursue development of products for mobile and tablet platforms, and Monahan expressed interest in the potential online video holds.
“Obviously we lose the Archives business, but we have so many things that we’re working on,” Monahan said. “We feel like we’re drinking from a fire hose in terms of opportunities, (so) being able to focus a little more on the things that we’re doing is very welcomed.”