23andMe lands $250 million to expand do-it-yourself genetics testing

The startup has the only FDA authorization for direct-to-consumer genetic tests.
By Bernie Monegain
10:12 AM
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23andMe, the genetic testing startup created and led by co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki, just landed $250 million.

The financing brings the total capital raised by 23andMe to $491 million. Wojcicki plans to put the new funds to work on growing the company and to further invest in 23andMe’s research platform.

New investor Sequoia Capital led the funding. New investors Euclidean Capital, Altimeter Capital and the Wallenberg Foundation joined, as did current investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, lead investor for 23andMe's prior financing round, and Casdin Capital.

[Also: FDA clears way for sales of 23andMe genomic tests direct to consumers]

"23andMe is primed for growth with the only FDA authorizations for direct-to-consumer genetic tests, and a world-class research platform powered by engaged customers," said Roel of Botha, partner, Sequoia Capital. "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.

The FDA also boosted the 23andMe’s chances to grow when in April the agency changed an earlier decision that had prevented Wojcicki from marketing 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk tests straight to consumers.

Recently, 23andMe recruited more than 5,000 participants in one week for a genetic study on fertility. The company also launched what Wojcicki calls the largest study of its kind on major depressive and bipolar disorder, and also the first experiential study on pain tolerance and treatment.

Wojcicki co-founded Mountain View, California-based 23andMe with Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza in 2006. Both of Wojcicki’s co-founders later left the company.

Sequoia's Botha will join the 23andMe Board of Directors, along with Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer for YouTube and a Senior Vice President at Google, who joined the board in July.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com