Genetics testing and genome research company 23andMe is set to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VG Acquisition Corp., a vehicle set up by Richard Branson and his company Virgin Group.
23andMe, founded in 2006 by CEO Anne Wojcicki, Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza, has raised a total of just under $900 million to date, including an $85 million Series F round announced last December. The company was one of the first to debut at-home genetic testing for individual consumers, providing kits that people can use to find out more about their own DNA, and what it says about their potential health issue, ancestry and more.
More recently, the company has turned its massive genomic data store into an opt-in genetic research resource that is used for discovery of future therapies and treatments. It also monetizes through aggregated, anonymized sharing of the data it collects with third-parties, for research and business purposes.