Google has invested another $2.6 million in 23andMe, the genetics startup co-founded by Anne Wojcicki (who’s married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin). The funding was revealed in a regulatory filing first spotted by Silicon Alley Insider.
Mountain View, Calif.-based 23andMe charges a $399 fee to provide customers with information about their genes, such as their predisposition to different diseases and their ancestry. Customers spit into a tube, send it to the company’s lab, then four to six weeks later they log into the company’s web site to see the data. (That’s reportedly how Brin discovered he has a mutation making it likely he will development Parkinson’s disease.) Back in May, VentureBeat writer Camille Ricketts wrote that 23andMe had raised $11 million of a planned $24.26 million second round. At the time, Google wasn’t an investor in the round, though it had contributed $4.4 million to the company’s $9 million first round of funding.
I emailed Google to ask about the investment, and spokeswoman Jane Penner responded, “We believed 23andme’s technology had promise the first time we invested, and we continue to believe that now. 23andme helps people make sense of their genetic information, a mission we support and view as being consistent with Google’s goal of organizing the world’s information.”
I also tried to contact 23andMe for an update on the funding, but I haven’t heard back yet. Brin and Wojcicki are both personal investors in the company, too; according to the filing Brin recently contributed $10 million in convertible debt, which has now been converted into company stock.