Silicon Valley startup 23andMe has existed since 2006, and it has convinced “millions of customers” to pay for its genetics testing. The company uses people’s genetic information to conduct unparalleled, personalized health research, including drug development. And it just got $250 million to help continue its work.
“The scale of the data – millions of customers and growing – and the unique combination of genotypic and phenotypic information provides an unrivaled research platform for insights into human health,” said Sequoia Capital’s Botha.
It isn’t an amazing that 23andMe got partnered with pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and the think tank the Milken Institute to study the genetic underpinnings of psychiatric diseases like bipolar disorder and depression. “23andMe’s research platform is currently the world’s largest consented, re-contactable database for genetic research,” says the company. “This data will lead to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of disease and accelerate the discovery of novel treatments through human genetics.”
The news indicates that Sequoia’s Roelof Botha will join the board. Other investors include Euclidean Capital, Altimeter Capital, and the Wallenberg Foundation. Fidelity Management and Casdin Capital are among existing investors. Additionally, 23andMe have raised $491 million to date, raising $250 million in a recent round led by investing powerhouse Sequoia Capital. That brings the company’s total financing up to $491 million, and a reported valuation of about $1.75 billion. Other investors in previous funding rounds include Fidelity and Google’s parent company, Alphabet’s GV arm.
Another stepping stone for 23andMe is their success in a landmark Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, and this declares them the first company allowed to sell genetic tests and accompanying health risk reports for conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease directly to consumers without a prescription.
“We have only begun to scratch the surface in direct-to-consumer genetics,” said Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and co-founder. “We will continue to blaze the trail for our customers and lead the industry we’ve built.”