Sun Genomics aims to make every human’s gut healthy through its direct-to-consumer custom probiotics solution, and thanks to a Series A has more investor dollars to put toward that mission.
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The company’s flagship product is Floré, a microbiome test and gut probiotics solution that uses whole-genome sequencing to evaluate samples, then recommends personalized products based on users’ unique gut profiles, Sunny Jain, founder and CEO of Sun Genomics, told Crunchbase News. The company also has a digestive powder product for children called Floré Tots.
Pangaea Ventures led the first closing of the San Diego-based company’s $8.65 million Series A round, with additional investments from Danone Manifesto Ventures, SOSV, Human Longevity and Nascita Ventures. SOSV led Sun Genomics’ seed round in 2019, and with the new cash infusion, the company’s total funding is $11.75 million to date, Jain said.
As part of the investment, Chris Erickson, founding general partner at Pangaea Ventures, has joined as a new board member.
The National Institutes of Health defines the human microbiome as “the collection of all the microorganisms living in association with the human body,” and there are about 100 trillion bacteria—good and bad—living in your gut. Many people use supplements, such as probiotics, to help maintain good gut health.
Jain began looking at probiotics back in 2014, trying to find a solution for his son who, at the time, was experiencing gastrointestinal issues.
“I didn’t realize how many people had this same issue,” he said. “About 70 million people suffer from this each year. Many have gone to their doctors and are using medication or probiotics, but are still having symptoms.”
Sun Genomics, founded in 2016, was the first to market with personalized probiotic solutions based on whole-genome sequencing diagnostics, Jain said. Around the same time, startups with similar offerings arrived on the scene as well, but at different success levels. Bellevue, Washington-based Viome has since raised a total of $45.5 million in venture-backed funds while Sunnyvale, California-based Thryve has raised $1.4 million.
With plans to go after the global human microbiome market, which is estimated to reach $1.7 billion by 2027, Sun Genomics will use this new round of funding to support its growth in the custom probiotics market, scale delivery across the U.S., enter international markets, and propel the publication of its studies in partnership with leading academic institutions.
Sun Genomics has already added four new people over the past month and Jain said he expects to bring on two more hires this year, including a vice president of growth. He also plans to grow headcount by 25 percent next year as well.
“We used to be a small food brand, but we are scaling operations, building a community around what we are doing, and we now have a chance to push out our products more broadly,” Jain said. “Before, we focused on the testing, but this new funding will help us gain awareness about what we are doing.”
Photo courtesy of Sun Genomics
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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