initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, July 9, 2021

23andMe (ME) began trading on the Nasdaq on Thur 17 June 21

Personalized medicine and at-home genetic testing kit company 23andMe went public on Thursday through a merger with a Richard Branson SPAC, VG Acquisition Corp., in a deal that raised near-$600 million and valued the company at $3.5 billion.
  • Sector(s): Healthcare
  • Industry: Diagnostics & Research
  • Founded in 2006 and is 
  • Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California


 Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe co-founder & CEO (right) celebrates with 23andMe employees after remotely ringing the NASDAQ opening bell at the headquarters of DNA tech company 23andMe in Sunnyvale, California, U.S., June 17, 2021.

Founded by Anne Wojcicki — the former spouse of Google founder Sergey Brin, who was an early investor in the company — 23andMe was created 15 years ago. Along with Ancestry, it has helped pioneer the idea that genetic testing is not just a medical field, but a big consumer business. Its at-home testing kits, which allowed people to learn about their genetic profiles and ancestry by sending a bit of saliva through the mail, ushered in a new era of personalized medicine, though not without controversy.

23andMe, a five-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company, has not had a straight or sure path to success as a public company.

It faced FDA scrutiny earlier in its history; continues to face questions about consumer privacy as it gathers genetic information on millions of individuals; ran into financial challenges in recent years as the market for personalized genetic tests seemed to get saturated; skepticism over the basis for its gene-based risk analysis remains contentious; and as it dives deeper into drug development, a gap in its current customer base and underlying genetic data between a majority European genetic profile and underrepresentation of many minority and ethnic groups.

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