23andme raises $115M to grow its DNA health test technology globally

A 23andMe testing kit.

23andMe has raised a substantial $115 million in funding, in a series E round led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, with participation from new investors Casdin Capital, WuXi Healthcare Ventures and Xfund, as well as existing investors such as Google Ventures.

The personal genomics and biotechnology company was founded in 2006 by Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The Mountain View-based company had already raised $190 million prior to today’s announcement, and included a slew of big-name investors such as Google, Google Ventures, Sergey Brin, and Yuri Milner.

23andme’s name stems from the 23 pairs of chromosomes found in a human cell, and the company offers health-tests direct-to-consumers. For $99 and a sample of your DNA, the company sends customers a report with information about their health and ancestry, and covers 254 diseases and conditions.

In 2013, 23andme received a public warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing its genetic testing kit without proper clearance, though approval was formally granted earlier this year making it one of the first such companies to receive such approval. Today, it claims one million customers around the world.

The new funds will be used to “expand its operations and maximize the potential of its direct-to-consumer product in the U.S. and abroad,” 23andme said in a press release. The company added that it will introduce a new user experience that includes carrier status reports by the end of 2015, alongside other new tools. The cash influx will also help it build new laboratory space for research.

Via:: VentureBeat