UPDATED 20:02 EST / DECEMBER 29 2020


Genetic testing company 23andMe raises $82.5M from Sequoia and NewView Capital

Genetic testing company 23andMe Inc. has raised around $82.5 million in new funding, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Series F round was led by Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital and was undersubscribed, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg, with 23andMe having attempted to raise $85 million. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the raise, saying that the money would be used for general corporate purposes.

Founded in 2006, 23andMe has been a leader in popularizing recreational DNA testing. Customers pay $99 to obtain a saliva testing kit, which they then use to provide a saliva sample that’s mailed back to 23andme. Then the company provides a DNA analysis that offers details such as ancestry and other traits.

23andMe does not make money from testing kits alone and has moved into developing therapeutics based on the genetic information provided by customers. In a deal along with funding announced in 2018, the company signed a four-year development partnership with GlaxoSmithKline plc for the use of its genetic data to develop new drugs. At the time of that deal, 23andMe is said to have tested about 5 million people; as of today it now claims to have tested more than 12 million people.

The company published the findings of its COVID-19 study in September that found that there is an association between severe respiratory complications and a specific variant in the gene cluster in chromosome 3. The study also found that there is strong evidence that certain blood types affect the severity of a COVID-19 infection, with blood type O being possibly protective against the virus.

Calling this a late-stage funding would be an understatement given that the company is 14 years old. That it needs additional funding may be indicative of larger problems: A report from Yahoo Finance in January described the company as being in serious trouble after it was forced to cut 14% of its workforce.

Including the new funding, 23andMe has raised $868.6 million, according to Crunchbase.

Photo: scalleja/Flickr

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