23andMe Funding Values Genetics Startup at $1.1 Billion - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Genetic-testing company 23andMe raised $115 million in venture-capital financing as it prepares to introduce a new consumer product and expands its drug-discovery arm, reported Bloomberg.
  • The funding round included previous investors Google Ventures and New Enterprise Associates, as well as new backers such as WuXi Healthcare Ventures, which 23andMe president Andy Page said could help the company tap the Chinese market in the future.
  • According to Patrick Chung, a 23andMe board member and co-founder of the venture capital firm Xfund, which is backing 23andMe for the first time, the genetic-testing company is "finally at the cusp of fulfilling its grandest ambition to change the way medical research is done and to bring the power of genomics to every single individual."
  • Chung said he is not bothered by the increased competition in consumer genetic testing kits, saying 23andMe's vast database of information is a "data asset that nobody else has" and will allow it to stand out in the field.
  • Google Ventures general partner Blake Byers said "leveraging this platform will allow 23andMe to change drug discovery from one mostly initiated by small biological models, to a discovery process initiated by data scientists working at scale."

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