23andMe, the DNA testing company that turns saliva into in-depth genetic analysis, is raising $US200 million in funding led by
Sequoia Capital, sources close to the situation confirmed to Business Insider.
This puts the company at a pre-money valuation of $US1.5 billion, according to Axios.
23andMe was co-founded in 2006 by CEO Anne Wojcicki (the sister of YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki) and Linda Avey, who left the company in 2009. It’s since developed a reputation for its $US99 direct-to-consumer health reports, though not without some hurdles.
In 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) barred the company from sending any data related to health to customers, over concerns that the company misrepresented genetic tests as medical advice. This prevented the company from providing information about things like a customer’s risk for developing a certain type of cancer, which was one of its major products.
The company started selling the tests again in 2015 with the FDA’s approval, and in April 2017, the FDA officially authorised 23andMe to market its direct-to-consumer tests for 10 different medical diseases and conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
23andMe declined to comment.
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