In July, we reported on the sale of Intelius, a leading people search and background check company, to private equity firm H.I.G Capital.
This month it was announced that Intelius has bought Classmates for a reported $30 million.
For people who don’t know, Classmates.com was the original classmate reunion site before there was Facebook.
Intelius bought Classmates from United Online, an internet company that purchased Classmates in 2004 for $100M.
According to H.I.G., Intelius and Classmates will continue to operate as separate companies with their current offices.
H.I.G. plans to use the social networking platform of Classmates with the people search and background check capabilities of Intelius to help people find each other and reunite online.
Classmates was started in 1995 as a way for people to search online yearbooks and reunite with friends and coworkers from kindergarten through college, places of employment as well as military branches.
However, new social networks have made Classmates virtually irrelevant today and the site has had a difficult time attracting paid subscribers.
In 2011, the Classmates name was changed to Memory Lane and the site was redesigned to focus on nostalgic and historical content. However, the Memory Lane site is no longer in use.
The Classmates site reportedly still gets around 25 million visitors a month.
Over the years, Classmates has been the focus of a number of consumer complaints and legal problems including:
– problems with cancelling paid memberships
– sending out misleading marketing emails that led people to believe their friends were on the site and wanted to reconnect
– charging people hidden fees
The Classmates site continues to get complaints and poor user reviews on sites like Yelp and Consumer Affairs over credit card charges and other site-related issues.
Intelius founder, Naveen Jain, said that the purchase of Classmates gives Intelius access to a new types of personal data on people, including schools attended, maiden names, photos etc.
For more Intelius news see Intelius People Search Bought By Private Equity Firm.