23andme - 2021H2

  • Founded in 2006 and based in California, USA, 23andMe is a leading consumer genetics and research company that helps people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.
  • The company has two segments of business: consumer and business.
  • For the consumer side, the Company offers 2 core products, the Genetic Health Test Kit and the Ancestry Test Kit.
  • For the business side, the Company offers an enterprise research database, clinical trial patient recruitment service, and commercializes development rights for its drug pipeline.

Company Overview

Stock Ticker Nasdaq: ME
Founded 2006
Sectors Consumer Genetics, Pharmaceutical Development, Health Services
Address Sunnyvale, CA, U.S.A

Management Team

Anne Wojcicki Co-Founder & CEO
Steve Schoch CFO
Joseph R. Arron Chief Scientific Officer
Kathy Hibbs Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer
David Backer Chief Security Officer
Kenneth Hillan Head of Therapeutics
Kumar Lyer Head of Productr

Business Overview

23andMe is one of the first movers in the Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing space. From its founding, the Company offered consumers testing kits for $200 USD. Customers who purchased the kits would provide their saliva as a DNA sample, and the Company would analyze the DNA to provide the customer a breakdown of their ethnic make-up (i.e, 30% East Asian, 40%, Western European, 30% North African, etc). Over time, as cost of processing DNA samples decreased, the Company began offering its kits at the lower price point of $99 USD, allowing for consumer interest to towards DNA testing to grow and in turn, the rapid growth of 23andMe’s revenue.

Today, the company operates multiple, diverse lines of business. Over the years, 23andMe has been able to accumulate a vast trove of data from its customers. This data is highly unique in that it is one of the first and largest DNA databases in the world that is geared towards the benefit of clinical drug discovery and genetic health analytics. Leveraging this design, 23andMe can offer this database to enterprise customers.

Direct-to-Consumer Segment

23andMe offers three different genetic testing kits, (1) Health + Ancestry Test Kits for $199, (2) Ancestry + Traits Test Kits for $99. Since October 2020, (3) the company launched 23andMe+ subscriptions services for $169 and $29 yearly. Customers preferring more in-depth, comprehensive benefits, information, and services with regard to their genetic profile can pay more for 23andMe’s advanced offerings.

Customers of 23andMe can purchase their DNA kits directly from the 23andMe website. They are also able to purchase 23andMe kits from various ecommerce platforms and retail stores such as Amazon, Walmart, and Walgreens Pharmacies.

As of October 2015, the company gained FDA approval for their offering of the health-related components of their testing kits. This approval set the entire industry’s precedent for saliva-based direct-to-consumer health diagnostics. In the years ensuing the original FDA approval, the Company also secured several additional approvals for the risk assessment of other chronic genetically influenced diseases.

Overall, the company experienced dramatic growth from the period of January 2016 to December 2021:

Cumulative Personal Genetic Kits Sold (in millions)

The Company reports a total of 12.2 million kits sold, cumulatively, as of December 2021. With such a large cumulative number of customers from its genetic testing business, the Company is also able to leverage the data supplied by the customers into other diverse business lines.

Enterprise Business Segment

Data Research Platform

23andMe developed and launched their very own drug research and development data platform that it offers to large pharmaceutical firms, educational institutions, and other third party research firms.

Today enterprise or organizational customers of 23andMe’s data platform can gain access to…

Notable enterprise clients of 23andMe’s platform include Alnylam Pharmaceuticacls, Biogen, Genentech, Pfizer, and P&G Beauty.

Additionally, academic institutions have also adopted 23andMe’s platform as a research portal and actively contribute to the vast base of data and insights:

From these industry, academia clients, and others, 23andMe utilizes a fixed subscription rate as its revenue model.

Patient Recruitment

23andMe’s patient recruitment database is now one of the world’s largest hubs for clinical trial patient recruitment. As such, existing drug developers that are utilizing the data platform can quickly proceed from discovery to trials within a short period of time. 23andMe receives a simple matchmaking fee for helping its enterprise clients connect to clinical trial subjects.

Drug Development

As of 2019, 23andMe has also began developing its own in-house pipeline of early drug candidates. As a part of the plan for the Company’s drug development, 23andMe may license the later stage drug development and commercialization rights to 3rd party pharmaceutical brands or take the drug to market under the 23andMe therapeutics umbrella.

As the drug development business is still very early stage, the Company has opted to license out its more mature pipeline compounds to larger pharmaceutical firms in exchange for cash deals. Within drug development, 23andMe stands to achieve strong returns if any of its partners further commercialize a licensed or co-developed therapy or drug. Simultaneously, should any of the Company’s in-house, non-collaborated drug candidates were to move through regulatory phases or eventually commercialize, it would bring substantial long term gains to the Company’s revenue and equity value.

Financing History

Since inception, the Company has raised approximately $1.46 billion USD across 9 rounds:

Round Amount($ M) Post money valuation($ M) Lead Investors
2007-05 Series A $9.0 $48.5 New Enterprise Associates, Google
2009-12 Series B $27.8 $150.5 New Enterprise Associates, Google
2010-11 Series C $31.2 $184.5 Johnson & Johnson, New Enterprise Associates
2012-12 Series D $58.5 $288.7 New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital
2015-06 Series E $115.3 $1,100.0 Fidelity Management
2017-09 Series F $250.0 $1,750.0 Sequoia Capital
2020-12 Series F-1 $382.5 $2,590.0 Sequoia Capital, NewView Capital, GlaxoSmithKline
2021-06 SPAC Merger $592.0 $3,500.0 Fidelity Management & Research、Altimeter Capital、Casdin Capital

Source: SharesPost, Crunchbase

Recent Developments

  • November 1, 2021: 23andMe announced that it has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Lemonaid Health, Inc. (“Lemonaid Health”), an on-demand platform for accessing medical care and pharmacy services online. Lemonaid Health Co-founder and CEO Paul Johnson will serve as the Vice President and General Manager of 23andMe’s consumer business, which now includes Lemonaid Health. The U.K. business of Lemonaid Health will continue to be led by Ian Van Every, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Lemonaid Health.


  • November 9, 2021: 23andMe, announced the appointment of Dr. Sandra Hernández, President & CEO of the California Health Care Foundation (“CHCF”), to its Board of Directors. Dr. Hernández serves as a leadership council member of the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences. She practiced at San Francisco General Hospital in the AIDS clinic from 1984 to 2016. She is a graduate of Yale University, the Tufts School of Medicine, and the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


  • November 30, 2021: 23andMe announced the appointment of Joseph R. Arron, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Arron will determine and prioritize 23andMe’s therapeutic programs and indications, including drug discovery and target validation efforts, and build out a pipeline that yields clinical stage programs. Dr. Arron previously served as Vice President and Senior Fellow, Immunology Research at Genentech. Dr. Arron joined Genentech in 2006, where his laboratory discovered pathogenic mechanisms and molecular bases for heterogeneity in respiratory disorders, enabling target and biomarker discovery for numerous investigational molecular therapies that resulted in over 75 publications.


  • January 18, 2022: GSK extends exclusive target discovery period of collaboration for a fifth year to discover and validate novel drug targets using 23andMe’s proprietary genetic and health survey database. 23andMe elects for royalty option as GSK advances immuno-oncology antibody collaboration program targeting CD96 into development

Company Performance

Financial Performance Metrics

(As of December 31, 2021, in millions USD)

(FY starting April 1, ending  March 31)

The revenue for FY2022 Q3 (i.e. October 2021-December 2021) was $56.9 million,  increased by 3% compared with the Q2, and the revenue for Q3 increase by 2.5% compared with the same quarter last year.

23andMe accumulated 12.2 million PGS customers since its launch, an increase of 900,000 PGS kits sold during the last twelve months.

The gross profit for Q3 decrease by 2% from Q2, but increased by 8% from the same quarter last year.

The gross profit has been impacted during the Q3 by the increase in the telehealth services, and the increase in costs related to the new GSK collaboration.

The operating expenses increased by 67% during Q3, due to an increase in sales and marketing expenses, which led to a 115% decrease in EBITDA from Q2 and a 169% decrease from the same quarter last year.

Balance Sheet Statistics

(In millions USD, Except per share figures)

(as of December 31, 2021)

23andMe had $586 million in cash and $46 million in debt.

Based on the FY 2022 EBITDA company’s target, 23andMe has a cash runway of 3.6 years, but the company will try in the future to decrease spending to improve profitability.

Operating Metrics

(As of December 31, 2021)

(FY starting April 1, ending  March 31)

(LTM= Last twelve month)

The Personal Genetic Kit Sales decreased by 48% from 2019 to 2021 LTM, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a decrease in demand

Revenue from PGS business, represented approximately 84.5%, 89% and 96% of the company’s total revenues, respectively for the years 2021 LTM, 2020 and 2019.

The company added 13 new drug targets to its pipeline since the beginning of the FY 2021 and has advanced the 3ME-00610, POO6 and CD96 therapeutic targets to clinical trial.

Source: SEC.gov website

Valuation Analysis

Public Comparable

(in millions USD, except per share figure)

M&A Comparable

(in millions USD, except per share figure)

(1) Based on last twelve months revenue or latest revenue figure available prior to M&A announcement.

Stock Price

VWAP: $8.50

Total Volume (Shares): 435.10 Million

Total Value (USD): $3.70 Billion

Source: SEC.gov, Yahoo Finance

Market Overview

As of June 2021, 23andMe and Ancestry remain the top two leaders in DNA data profiles accumulated.

DNA Profiles Accumulated (in millions)

Source: 23andMe Investor Presentation

Exhibit above shows, Ancestry DNA has accumulated 18 million profiles, 23andMe has collected 11.3 million. However, of this 11.3 million, only 8.9 million have consented for their genetic profiles to be used in drug development studies.

Like large social networks, 23andMe and Ancestry are leading the industry  with high-tech operations and large amounts of financial and strategic resources. Given their relative scale and advantage, other earlier stage competitors in the space struggle to gain a foothold. This is also due to a network effect: the more individuals that join a database, the more useful it is for finding relatives, creating ancestry estimates, providing accurate healthcare recommendation, and executing drug related research.

Thus far, within the genetic testing market, 23andMe is the leading provider of comprehensive FDA approved health reports in addition to ancestry insights. In 2018, 23andMe won clearance from the US FDA to test two breast cancer genes, and in early 2019, it received approval for reports on prostate cancer risk as well. Other leading competitors such as Ancestry only started general health and trait reports in mid 2018. The combination of both ancestry / family tree testing as well as health-related risk reports has garnered mass adoption across the market.

However, a remaining obstacle holding back further rapid growth in the genetic testing market is the concern regarding genetic data privacy. Consumers perceive great risks in handing over their genetic samples to testing companies. Of these risks, customers fear hacking of their personal data that could lead to eventual misuse and directed harm or coercion. Furthermore, there is perceived social risk associated with conducting the test. In past cases, DNA tests have also revealed unknown familial connections and connections to past crimes that users may find disruptive to their ongoing lives.

Lastly, knowing that genetic data is shared with large pharmaceutical firms, consumers may also feel that their data may benefit the eventual profit of large corporations, but not help actual patients needing the medicine developed from DNA data (assuming that large corporations charge high prices for the drugs developed.

Effects of these privacy concerns shall be important to follow as the Company continues to move forth in its development.


Competitors Stock Price

(January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022)


1983 – United States

Ancestry.com LLC is a privately held online company based in Lehi, Utah. As the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, it operates a network of genealogical, historical records, and genetic genealogy websites. Ancestry’s original business model for its first 25 years largely surrounded the commercialization of their lineage research database.

As of November 2018, the company claimed to provide access to approximately 10 billion historical records, to have 3 million paying subscribers, and to have sold 14 million DNA kits to customers.

Recent News

  • October 29, 2021: The company Ancestry unveiled the world’s largest digitized and searchable collection of Freedman’s Bank and Freedmen’s Bureau, a post-Civil War agency created to help Black people transition from slavery
  • November 10, 2021: In Canada, Ancestry.ca makes thousands of war images available for Remembrance Day

Color Genomics

2013 – United States

Color is a population health technology company which provides genetic tests and analysis directly to patients as well as through employers. The product focuses on genes that indicate risk for heart disease, cancer, and that affect medication response.

Color’s product is a genetic test that costs $249 USD and includes genetic counseling and services from physicians. The test analyzes 30 gene that highly impact risk for the most common hereditary cancers, 30 genes that impact risk for hereditary heart conditions and 14 genes that impact individual genetic response to medications.
To date, the Company has received $112 million UD in venture funding from notable investors such as General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Emerson Collective, CRV, and Initialized Capital.

Recent News

  • NA


2015 – United States

Helix is a population genomics company with a mission to empower every person to improve their life through DNA. Helix is accelerating the integration of genomic data into clinical care and broadening the impact of large-scale population health programs by providing comprehensive expertise in DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, and individual engagement.

Powered by their proprietary Exome+ assay—a panel-grade clinical exome enhanced by more than 300,000 informative non-coding regions—Helix partners with health systems to provide a scalable solution which enables the discovery of medically relevant, potentially life-saving, genetic information.

To date, Helix has raised $300 million USD in venture funding from notable investors such as Illumina, Warburg Pincus, Mayo Clinic, Sutter Hill Ventures, KPCB, DFJ Growth, and Temasek.

Recent News

  • January 5, 2022: Helix Expands Leadership Team to Support Rapid Growth into New Segments of Healthcare, Craig Newman and Daniel Lee have joined Helix with a combined 35 years of commercial healthcare experience from executive positions at top healthcare and life sciences companies. Sarah Bobulsky has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, following a nearly six-year tenure with Helix in positions of increasing responsibility