PUBLISHED THU, JAN 23 20201:15 PM ESTUPDATED THU, JAN 23 20205:54 PM EST
– 23andMe is laying off 100 people, as consumer DNA tests are down.
– CEO Anne Wojcicki didn’t have a clear explanation for that, but cited a variety of factors, including both recession fears and privacy concerns.
– Wojcicki said she anticipated that DNA testing would explode when she co-founded the business in 2007, but is now looking ahead to a retracting market.
Home DNA-testing company 23andMe is laying off about 100 people, or 14% of its staff, on Thursday, in the wake of declining sales.
… CEO Anne Wojcicki told CNBC she’s been “surprised” to see the market starting to turn.
Wojcicki has theories, but she doesn’t have clear proof for why consumers are shying away from getting tests that reveal their percentage of Irish heritage, propensity for a favorite ice cream flavor, or whether they have a limited set of variants that are associated with breast cancer.
I suspect most of these revelations aren’t terribly exciting.
… Wojcicki notes that privacy could be a factor. Fears about people’s DNA ending up in the wrong hands might have been heightened in the aftermath of the Golden State Killer case.
… Sales of DNA tests were growing — until they weren’t, which started sometime in 2019. …
Investors in 23andMe include Google parent-company Alphabet, where Wojcicki’s sister, Susan, is the CEO of YouTube, plus GlaxoSmithKline and Sequoia Capital, among others.