With a network of more than 25 million family members worldwide, 25 language versions, more than 260 million profiles, and 230 million photos, Tel Aviv-based myHeritage claims to be the “second largest online destination for families”. These impressive numbers come from a press release, issued yesterday, in which the company announces a $15 million funding round from London-based Index Ventures and Accel Partners. Index Ventures’ Saul Klein seems ecstatic, saying in the release that he believes “it has the potential to become as important to families as Facebook is for friends and LinkedIn is for professional relationships.”

20080908 tmcmsr3c25c995ypej4mt6cayf MyHeritage raises $15 million from Index and AccelMyHeritage is now certainly the largest when it comes to funding. One of its main competitors Geni, for example, has raised $11.5 million in total, which is less than half of myHeritage’s total funding ($24 million). The genealogy company will be using the investment to expand the team, establish commercial operations in London and develop new technologies.

A technology myHeritage has just launched is a face-recognizing feature. When users upload or import (e.g. from Flickr) a photo, the technology automatically checks who the depicted person is (as long as he or she is looking into the lens). That means a lot less tagging, you’ll have a machine to do that. MyHeritage will group photos with the same person on it, so that every family member’s vanity need is satisfied. Not a bad idea from myHeritage, which currently hosts around 230 million photos on its own site.