TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Google Buys Stake in Genomics Info Start up Company

Google Buys Stake in Genomics Info Start up Company

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 23 May 2007 15:36:18 -0500

Google Inc. has taken a small stake in a biotech company that was
co-founded by the wife of one of Google's founders, Sergey Brin,
Google said in a U.S. regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Google said it had invested $3.9 million in the company, called
23andMe Inc., giving the Mountain View, California-based Google a
minority stake in the start-up, according to a filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

23andMe is a privately held company that promises to help consumers
understand and browse their own genetic information.

Besides Google, the initial round of outside funding in 23andMe includes
venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates and Mohr Davidow
Ventures and biotechnology giant Genentech Inc..

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, was married earlier this month
to Brin, Google's co-founder and president.

Prior to Google's investment in 23andMe, Brin provided around $2.6
million in interim debt financing to 23andMe, which was repaid as part
of this financing transaction, the filing said.

Genentech's Chief Executive Arthur Levinson is a member of the board
of directors of Google. The company said Google's audit committee had
reviewed and approved the transaction after taking advice from
independent advisors.

Linda Avey, a 20-year veteran of the biotech industry, is a co-founder
of 23andMe, along with Wojcicki.

Esther Dyson, a veteran analyst of the computer and Internet industries,
who now focuses on personal investment is a board member of 23andMe.

More details on 23andMe can be found at

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Go back and read the article again ...
now, does _this_ give you the creeps or is it just me who is unduly
paranoid? Note the presence of Esther Dyson (ICANN fame) on the
board and the presence of Google as a financial backer. PAT]

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