When the Biden Administration began sending out at-home COVID-19 testing kits, the vision was to keep a stock of easy-to-use diagnostic tools in the medicine cabinet alongside bandages and bottles of pain relief drugs.
That led to a slew of startups entering the little-known diagnostics world.
Now we see Viome Life Sciences, an at-home diagnostics startup, announcing on Tuesday it raised a $67 million extension round towards its Series C. This brings total financing for the company to more than $150 million, according to the company.
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The recent funding was led by Bold Capital Group with participation from existing venture firms like Khosla Ventures, Ocgrow Ventures and WestRiver Group.
Viome is a diagnostics company with a kit that analyzes stool samples and recommends different vitamins and supplements based on microbial composition. But the company has since expanded—it now offers a Full Body Intelligence Test that analyzes blood and saliva. It also recently launched an oral and throat cancer detection kit powered by Viome’s sequencing technology and artificial intelligence.
Funding will go towards advancing an oral health test that can detect a slew of cancers and diseases as well as other oral-focused diagnostics products.
Keep an eye out for at-home testing companies
It really wasn’t until the pandemic that diagnostics saw this kind of update to its old-school, slow-moving technology. Funding rarely exceeded $2 billion prior to 2020, per Crunchbase data.
That said, over $3 billion in venture funding has poured into the diagnostics space so far in 2022, far more than what we saw in 2020 (I’m not counting the venture anomaly that was 2021, when funding was at an unprecedented height).
This also comes at a time when telehealth is gaining popularity in the U.S., making doctor visits and subsequent in-person tests far less common than once before.
At-home diagnostic kits will be the future—testing children for strep before they go to school, testing sexually active people for STDs and testing nurses for diseases before they step into the intensive care unit will be crucial in managing public health in a fast-paced environment.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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