Richard Branson Now Owns Your DNA… If You Use 23andMe
5 Feb 2021
23andMe announced on Thursday that it would merge with VG Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The announcement now means that all data that the genetic testing company acquired will now fall into the hands of Branson.
Launched in 2006, 23andMe sells saliva kits people can use at home to determine their genetic ancestry and their chances of developing certain diseases. The company estimates it has nearly 11 million “genotyped customers,” well over 4 billion “phenotypic data points,” developing 30 therapeutic programs.
But what does this mean ? Well 23andMe has “vast proprietary dataset” of DNA that will allow it to “unlock revenue streams across digital health, therapeutics, and more” according to an investment presentation conducted by Virginia. Or as Branson put it “there is no better money to invest than in health care.”