Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More On That Google Ventures Investing Algorithm

When posting "GV (né Google Ventures) Uses An Algorithm to Decide on Venture Investments" last Thursday I completely forgot another approach GV uses to make the invest/no invest decision.

First up, the news that reminded me. From CNBC:

GlaxoSmithKline strikes $300 million deal with 23andMe for genetics-driven drug research 
  • GlaxoSmithKline is investing $300 million in consumer genetics company 23andMe.
  • The deal forges a four-year collaboration to discover medicines using human genetics as a guide.
  • The partnership has an option to extend for an additional year. Funding and proceeds will be split equally.

Although the CNBC story doesn't mention it here's the Wikipedia entry on 23andMe:

The company was founded by Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza and Anne Wojcicki in 2006 to provide genetic testing and interpretation to individual consumers.[13][14] In 2007, Google invested $3,900,000 in the company, along with Genentech, New Enterprise Associates, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.[15] Wojcicki was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin at the time.[7]
Cusenza left the company in 2007 and was appointed CEO of Nodal Exchange in 2008.[16] Avey left the company in 2009 and co-founded Curious, Inc. in 2011.[17]

In 2012, 23andMe raised $50 million in a Series D venture round, almost doubling its existing capital of $52.6 million.[18][19][20] In 2015, 23andMe raised $115 million in a Series E offering, increasing its total capital to $241 million.[5][21][22]

In June 2017, 23andMe created a brand marketing advertisement featuring Gru from the movie Despicable Me.[23] In 2018, the company further marketed its brand in advertisements narrated by Warren Buffett.[24]

In September 2017, the company was rumored to be raising another $200M in venture funding with a valuation of $1.5 billion, as of that the time (prior to the raise) the company had raised $230 million since it was founded.[25] Afterwards, it was reported that the company raised $250M at a valuation $1.75B.[26]
Here's CrunchBase on the various rounds.. Keep in mind that Google and Google Ventures (now GV) are separate entities but I imagine they do talk at night, "How was your day?"

Not shown, the September 2017 quarter-billion-dollar series F.

July 2017
Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies 2017

July 2016
23andMe is Monetizing Your DNA The Way Facebook Monetizes 'Likes'

July 2016
Handy Hints: Use Your Competitor's Genetic Information To Get Ahead

September 2015
A report from a future where genetic engineering has sabotaged society.

April 2015
Tech titans’ latest project: Defy death (GOOG; EBAY; FB)

November 2013
Genomics: There's NSA Creepy and Then There's 23andMe Creepy