Genetics & Gene Therapy: Key Role Opens for SaaS Startups

In the near future, look for big SaaS startup winners coming from the "front end" of healthcare--not the vendor/payments/cashflow side, but the optimization of therapies like gene therapy and genetics.

One of the richest opportunities today for SaaS startups is in gene therapy and genetics information.

Two unicorns today are already prancing the field–23&Me and Gingko Bioworks. The sheer scale of the healthcare industry in the United States–almost 20% of our GDP–and its growth continue to make it a ripe target for the efficiencies of SaaS. Healthcare tools have been digitizing for decades, starting in diagnostics (smarter scans) and moving into treatment (think robo surgery). Digital tools have created smarter data sets, which is creating a big opportunity in healthcare to mine that data. So far, so good. But the largest new data set to come along is the human genome. New approaches like CRISPR and a deeper understanding of our biochemical nature is fueling a new breed of healthcare information technology.

Genetics and gene therapy ripe for disruption

Looking back, when you think SaaS and b2b healthcare, you often think of software startups that work on “the back end” of the business, like

  • Vendor management
  • Payments management, including insurance reimbursement, recovery, risk insurance, and other cashflow management optimization tools
  • Staff management, nurse sourcing, scheduling, and travel, and the like
  • Patient management — wait time prediction, satisfaction, etc.

Moving forward, the Valor team is bullish that software, and in particular SaaS models, will be part of how healthcare copes with:

  • treatment personalization running DNA analysis;
  • genomic testing process management;
  • finding patient/procedure fits for gene therapy;
  • drug and procedure virtual testing and trial digital simulation, to reducing development costs and making the final trial smaller;
  • post gene-therapy follow up testing patient management;
  • legal compliance; and
  • technology turbulence.

The big healthcare winners SaaS of the next few years will likely move to the “front end” of healthcare–not the vendor/payments/cashflow side, but the optimization of therapy.  Imagine a SaaS array that helps researchers and geneticists develop, test and personalize gene-driven therapies and protocols. Everyone’s genome opens up a new opportunity.  I recently wrote an article about 8 genetics and gene therapy startups that work on the technical side of treatment optimization that are on the edge of this wave.

Here’s a list of the over 50 genetics and gene therapy startups.

In 2017, each raised at least a million dollars–often far more– pursuing more effective gene therapies or applying gene therapy options. It’s just the beginning. As scientists, drug designers, and researchers work with the large data sets coming out of healthcare, new software stacks specifically suited to this task will be helping pave the way.

Recently Funded Genetics & Gene Therapy Startups

Organization NameHeadquarters LocationDescriptionTotal Equity Funding AmountNumber of EmployeesLast Funding Amount
23andMeMountain View, California, United States23andMe is a human genome research company enabling users to study their ancestry, genealogy, and inherited traits.$482,973,609501-1000
Kailos GeneticsHuntsville, Alabama, United StatesKailos Genetics provides consumers access to affordable physician-ordered genetic tests.$1,900,00011-50
Fulcrum TherapeuticsCambridge, Massachusetts, United StatesFulcrum Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing new medicines to deliver a new future to patients.$55,000,00011-50
Mission BioSan Francisco, California, United StatesMission Bio is a science company that provides the equipment for molecular biology.$16,000,00011-50$1,000,000
GencoveNew York, New York, United StatesGencove is the go-to platform to run research and build products in genomics.$1,000,0001-10$1,000,000
TransgenomicOmaha, Nebraska, United StatesTransgenomic offers products for purification and analysis of nucleic acids used in the life sciences industry for research.$13,389,436101-250$1,150,000
ActXSeattle, Washington, United StatesActX is focused on making patient genomic information that are useful in everyday medical practice.$3,920,39411-50$1,250,000
Indee Labs (YC W17)San Francisco, California, United StatesIndee Labs (YC W17) is unlocking gene-modified cell therapy for the masses with scalable hardware for gene delivery.$1,783,6701-10$1,783,670
Mendel.aiSan Francisco, California, United automates matching cancer patients to clinical trials through personal medical history and genetic analysis.$2,000,0001-10$2,000,000
Jupiter Orphan TherapeuticsJupiter, Florida, United StatesJupiter Orphan Therapeutics, Inc. Developing therapies for rare diseases linked to single gene deficiencies.$2,750,000$2,500,000
EpisonaPasadena, California, United StatesEpisona is an epigenetics data company focused on improving healthcare outcomes.$2,645,0001-10$2,620,000
Codagenix, Inc.Stony Brook, New York, United StatesCodagenix employs a proprietary technology platform for the construction of live attenuated viral vaccines for multiple targets.$5,000,0001-10$3,000,000
4D Molecular TherapeuticsEmeryville, California, United States4D Molecular Therapeutics’ mission is to design and develop transformative gene therapy products using our proprietary.$9,999,9951-10$3,000,000
InsitomeAustin, Texas, United StatesInsitome uncovers your personal genomic story.$3,000,0001-10$3,000,000
HumanCodeDenver, Colorado, United StatesHumanCode develops next-generation personal genomics applications.$3,000,000$3,000,000
InSilico MedicineBaltimore, Maryland, United StatesInSilico Medicine is dedicated to finding novel solutions for cancer and age-related diseases using advances in genomics and big data.$13,998,98811-50$4,000,000
Trace GenomicsSan Francisco, California, United StatesAdvanced prevention and management of agricultural diseases.$8,000,000$4,000,000
Perlara, PBCSan Francisco, California, United StatesPerlara, PBC is precision drug discovery that leaves no mutation behind.$11,463,0021-10$4,143,002
Cure ForwardBoston, Massachusetts, United StatesCure Forward helps cancer patients & physicians access advanced treatments in oncology by 1 on 1 matching & placement on clinical trials.$23,499,99711-50$4,499,997
GenePeeksNew York, New York, United StatesGenePeeks is a genetic information company$21,250,00011-50$4,500,000
CelmatixNew York, New York, United StatesCelmatix is a next-generation women's health company leveraging big-data and genomics.$47,120,000101-250$4,500,000
Embark VeterinaryAustin, Texas, United StatesEnd hereditary disease in all dogs through the power of genomics.$6,300,00011-50$4,500,000
Reviva PharmaceuticalsSan Jose, California, United StatesReviva Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies.$35,456,38111-50$4,800,000
TwinStrand BiosciencesBellevue, Washington, United StatesTwinStrand Biosciences develops and commercializes the Duplex Sequencing™ technology for DNA sequencing.$5,280,338$5,280,338
GenooxPalo Alto, California, United StatesGenoox is an innovative platform for managing and storing genomic data in the cloud.$6,000,0001-10$6,000,000
Paradigm DiagnosticsPhoenix, Arizona, United StatesParadigm is a private molecular information corporation established to bring cutting-edge diagnostics to cancer patients and industry.$7,000,00011-50$7,000,000
DermTech InternationalLa Jolla, California, United StatesDermTech develops and commercializes qPCR assays for skin samples using adhesive tape biopsy methods.$44,719,57111-50$10,000,000
ExicureSkokie, Illinois, United StatesExicure is developing a new class of immunomodulatory and gene silencing drugs against validated targets.$71,953,40011-50$11,200,000
Cofactor GenomicsSan Francisco, California, United StatesCofactor Genomics uses RNA to diagnose disease.$20,830,00011-50$18,000,000
Poseida TherapeuticsSan Diego, California, United StatesPoseida Therapeutics utilizes best-in-class genome engineering capabilities to develop targeted lifesaving therapeutics.$23,033,23211-50$19,800,000
Edico GenomeLa Jolla, California, United StatesEdico Genome Inc. develops cutting edge solutions that power the genomic revolution$32,000,00011-50$22,000,000
CardioDxRedwood City, California, United StatesCardioDx is a cardiovascular genomic diagnostics company providing clinicians with information to enhance patient care.$311,259,83151-100$22,500,000
CareDxBrisbane, California, United StatesXDx is a novel mol­e­c­u­lar diagnos­tics com­pany.$166,788,26451-100$25,000,000
Exagen DiagnosticsAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United StatesExagen Diagnostics is a patient-focused, discovery-driven molecular diagnostics laboratory with internally-developed genomic tests.$133,825,176101-250$25,000,000
AltheaDxSan Diego, California, United StatesAltheaDx offers molecular diagnostics and PCR-based services such as molecular biomarker discovery, assay development and assay validation.$67,974,363101-250$27,000,000
Exosome DiagnosticsNew York, New York, United StatesExosome Diagnostics develops and commercializes blood-based cancer molecular diagnostics for patient stratification and disease monitoring.$112,083,97311-50$30,000,000
Altor BioScienceMiramar Beach, Florida, United StatesAltor BioScience researches and develops immunotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases.$122,047,75711-50$30,328,264
Frequency TherapeuticsWoburn, Massachusetts, United StatesFrequency Therapeutics develops small molecule drugs that activate progenitor cells within the body to restore healthy tissue.$32,000,0001-10$32,000,000
Syros PharmaceuticalsWatertown, Massachusetts, United StatesSyros Pharmaceuticals is a life sciences company that is focused on treating diseases by mapping gene regulatory circuits.$158,000,00011-50$35,000,000
GigaGenSouth San Francisco, California, United StatesBillions of immune cells in your bloodstream fight disease on a daily basis. GigaGen turns these cells into life-saving medical therapies.$35,000,0001-10$35,000,000
eGenesisSomerville, Massachusetts, United StateseGenesis is a life sciences company that aims to advance xenotransplantation procedures for the medical industry.$38,000,0001-10$38,000,000
Miragen TherapeuticsBoulder, Colorado, United StatesmiRagen Therapeutics is focused on the development therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular and muscle diseases.$129,200,00011-50$40,700,000
SynthegoRedwood City, California, United StatesSynthego is a provider of synthetic RNA solutions for CRISPR Genome Engineering.$49,294,22611-50$41,000,000
LogicBio TherapeuticsFoster City, California, United StatesLogicBio Therapeutics is a gene therapy startup$48,999,911$45,000,000
Solid BiosciencesMarlborough, Massachusetts, United StatesSolid Biosciences is a advance the development of its novel gene therapy platform$92,500,0001-10$50,000,000
RaNA TherapeuticsCambridge, Massachusetts, United StatesRaNA Therapeutics is a biotechnology company innovating RNA-targeted medicines that selectively activate protein expression.$138,172,23111-50$51,000,000
Color GenomicsBurlingame, California, United StatesColor Genomics provides a service that helps people proactively manage their health through affordable and clinical-grade genetic data.$150,548,11251-100$52,000,000
LAM TherapeuticsGuilford, Connecticut, United StatesLAM Therapeutics develops drugs for rare diseases and cancer.$98,000,0001-10$58,000,000
Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGD)Baltimore, Maryland, United StatesPersonal Genome Diagnostics Inc. develops patient-specific analysis of the cancer genome by using advanced tools and technologies.$89,667,41251-100$65,367,412
Dicerna PharmaceuticalsWatertown, Massachusetts, United StatesDicerna Pharmaceuticals is focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for rare inherited diseases.$295,450,62811-50$70,000,000
TocagenSan Diego, California, United StatesTocagen is a biopharmaceutical company developing gene therapy products for the treatment of cancer.$168,401,97011-50$72,500,000
CounsylSouth San Francisco, California, United StatesCounsyl is a health technology company that offers DNA screening for men, women, and their children.$237,795,000251-500$80,000,000
Homology MedicinesLexington, Massachusetts, United StatesMassachusetts-based newly formed genetic medicines company$127,000,000$83,500,000
Abeona TherapeuticsCleveland, Ohio, United StatesAbeona Therapeutics develops gene therapy-based potential cures for Sanfilippo syndrome types A and B.$114,850,00011-50$92,000,000
OpGenGaithersburg, Maryland, United StatesOpGen focuses on commercializing solutions for DNA analysis and genomics with the Argus® whole genome mapping system and MapIt® services.$85,110,000101-250$110,000
WuXi NextCODECambridge, Massachusetts, United StatesWuXi NextCODE is a genomic information company using sequence data to improve health for people around the world.$255,000,00011-50$165,000,000