California-based genetic testing and analysis company 23andMe has undergone a funding round to raise $200 million. Sequoia Capital led this funding round, and other investors, like Fidelity, also participated.
Sources have indicated this round is being done at a pre-money evaluation of $1.5 billion, which is 50 percent more than the previous evaluation of $1 billion (pre-money).
This influx will help the company to grow its revenue without having to go public. Co-founder Anne Wojcicki has not been keen on taking 23andMe public.
In their previous funding round back in 2007, the company had raised more than $230 million. Its previous investors include Google, Genentech, NEA and Johnson & Johnson.
After the company was asked to stop the sale of its personal genomics test back in 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration, 23andMe has been focusing more on research. At that time the FDA had clearly indicated that the company did not meet its standards. 23andMe eventually had to stop selling the genetic health information and find other sources to generate revenue.
Subsequently, the company strengthened its research work by hiring more scientists and working in a collaborative mode with other genetic outfits to conduct high-level research. Celmatix, a company that studies fertility, is working with 23andMe to find out how genes affect women’s ability to get pregnant.
Neither Sequoia nor 23andMe were available to comment on this funding round.
Usually, companies don’t go public within a year of their previous funding round, and it remains a last stage for venture-backed companies. However, Ancestry.com, a competitor of 23andMe, quietly filed for IPO in June. The company hasn’t shared further on this development.
Another possibility for an organization like 23andMe is to undergo an acquisition, though there is little possibility of Wojcicki selling her venture. Only time will decide the journey ahead for 23andMe.