US genetic testing company Ivitea has acquired Clear Genetics, which has developed a chatbot for making genetic tests accessible to consumers, or $50 million: $25 million in cash and $25 million in shares. Invitea, listed on the New York Stock Exchange at a $1.7 billion market cap.
Clear Genetics was founded in the US by three Israelis: CEO Moran Snir, COO Guy Snir (Moran's husband), and Prof. Motti Shohat (Moran's father), one of Israel's leading experts in genetic counseling. The company's product aims to duplicate the abilities of Shohat and experts with similar experience.
Only $2.5 million has been invested in Clear Genetics, which means that although the acquisition price is not enormous, the return on the investment is impressive. The company's prominent investors were accelerator Y Combinator, the iAngels fund, and Meron Capital. Invitea, which provides genetic tests, is already using Clear Genetics' product for patients directly hiring its services (not through a hospital or doctor). When the product proved successful, Invitea decided to acquire Clear Genetics.
The chatbot is responsible for several actions usually conducted by a genetic consultant. It explains the process to patients and makes sure that they understand and consent to it, calculates the patient's risk, provides guidance about how to obtain reimbursement from insurance companies, and explains the results to the patient. Another company in Israel with a similar product is Igentify.
"We founded Clear Genetics in order to simplify the genetic testing process and make it accessible to as many people as possible though the use of automated tools that are simple to use," Moran Shnir explains. In addition to a chatbot for the end user, the company developed a system for doctors for handling the connection with the patient.
iAngels fund founding partner and co-CEO Shelly Hod Moyal says, "Moran and Guy are both veterans of Mamram (the IDF Central Data Processing Unit), and worked in technology before sounding the company. When they moved to the US, she studied at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in the US health system and worked at Twitter, among other things.
"Moran kept track of her father's work for years, and has always dreamed of making these tests accessible to as many people as possible. Technological developments in both genetics and algorithmics have made this product more necessary and more possible, and they were in the right place at the right time to take advantage of it. When the opportunity appeared, they followed it to Silicon Valley and worked as hard as possible."
The company initially focused on pre-pregnancy genetic consultancy, then expanded to genetic testing for personalization of cancer treatment at the request of its customers.
Field of business: A chatbot for making genetic consultation accessible
Founders: Moran and Guy Snir, Prof. Motti Shohat
Employees: Eight in the US
Financing rounds: $2.5 million from Y Combinator, iAngels, and Meron Capital
Stage in activity: Initial revenue
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 14, 2019
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