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23andMe raises $82.5 million in new funding

Darrell Etherington
·1-min read
This illustration picture shows a saliva collection kit for DNA testing displayed in Washington DC on December 19, 2018. - Between 2015 and 2018, sales of DNA test kits boomed in the United States and allowed websites to build a critical mass of DNA profiles. The four DNA websites that offer match services -- Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage -- today have so many users that it is rare for someone not to find at least one distant relative. (Photo: ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

DNA testing technology company 23andMe has raised just shy of $82.5 million in new funding, from an offering of $85 million in total equity shares, according to a new SEC filing. The funding, confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, comes from investors including Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital. It brings the total raised by 23andMe to date to over $850 million.

There's no specific agenda earmarked for this Series F round, according to a statement from the company to the WSJ, beyond general use to continue to fund and grow the business. 23andMe's business is based on its distribution of individual home genetic testing kits, which provide customers with insights about their potential health and their family tree based on their DNA.

While the company's pitch to individuals is improved health, and more knowledge about their ancestry and family tree, the company has also turned its attention to conducting research based on the data it has collected in aggregate, both for its own studies including a recent one that examined how genetic markers could affect a person's susceptibility to COVID-19 and also for use in supporting the work of third parties — though it stresses that data is only shared in aggregate, de-identified formats for those purposes.

In January, 23andMe confirmed layoffs affecting roughly 14% of its global workforce. The company's work this year around COVID-19 has, however, perhaps put the value of its platform in a new light in the face of this pandemic and the potential of future similar global health issues that may arise.