What does your gut tell you? Apparently, much more than you think. Viome, a startup that does RNA analysis of all living organisms in the gut, today announced funding of $15 million to create unique molecular profiles for its customers by identifying and quantifying all the microorganisms that live in the gut. These include bacteria, viruses, yeast, mold, and fungus.
Customers provide a stool sample, which is sent for analysis. They also do an in-home metabolic test and complete a questionnaire about their health and wellness.
Viome uses artificial intelligence to analyze these results and figure out what’s going on in your gut — certain imbalances can cause chronic illnesses, according to Viome’s cofounder and CEO, Naveen Jain.
“There are other companies out there that can analyze your microbiome, but they use 16S testing, which only looks at a portion of bacteria and only at a genus level (any two people have 95 percent similarity in their microbiome at a genus level),” Jain wrote in an email to VentureBeat. “We look at all living organisms at a strain level and also understand what they are doing.”
The proprietary technology Viome is using for its AI is licensed exclusively through Viome’s partnership with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to Jain.
The precision of the results allows the Viome team to provide tailored insights and make health and nutritional recommendations for each customer. According to Jain, several thousands of customers are using the test as part of Viome’s beta program. Starting in September, the service will be available to the public in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, and the Middle East.
Pricing is set at $59 per month, or $599 for an annual discount paid upfront. Customers will receive two tests annually and have access to up-to-date dietary and wellness recommendations offered through Viome’s app.
Since founding the startup in 2016, Viome has raised a total of $21 million. It will use the new money to further develop the product and expand research and development (R&D).
Khosla Ventures led today’s round, with participation from Bold Capital Partners. Both have also invested in AliveCor, a medtech startup that created a credit card-sized heart monitor. Khosla’s managing partner, Vinod Khosla, will be joining Viome’s board following today’s investment.
Viome currently has 45 employees across its Los Alamos, Cupertino, and New York offices.