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High-profile investors, including Laurene Powell Jobs, just put $80 million into Color Genomics

  • Color Genomics gets $80 million more, bringing its funding total to $150 million.
  • The company is planning to move beyond genetics into preventative health more broadly.
CNBC

Color Genomics, a start-up that sells genetic tests to assess cancer and other health risks, just raised an additional $80 million from a slew of high-profile investors.

That brings its total financing to $150 million, making it one of the most well-funded health-technology companies in Silicon Valley.

These investors include General Catalyst; CRV's George Zachary, who shifted focus from tech to bio investing; and Emerson Collective's Laurene Powell Jobs, who recently bought a majority stake in The Atlantic.

A $52 million filing was first spotted by Axios. The company clarified to CNBC that it has now raised more than $80 million, thus reaching its intended funding total.

"We have a really big opportunity to scale things up, and things have been clicking so we decided to go for it," said Othman Laraki, Color Genomics' CEO, when asked about his reasons for raising the round.

Color's team includes former senior leaders from Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies, such as Laraki, who previously served as Twitter's vice president of product, and Katie Jacobs Stanton, Twitter's former media chief. Former CEO Elad Gil also worked on the product team at Twitter, and prior to that as a product manager at Google.

Moving beyond genetics 

Color faces ample competition from fellow genetic-testing companies, which range from Counsyl to Illumina-spinout Helix. The company plans to differentiate itself by moving beyond genetics to preventative health more broadly.

Laraki said he's noted a major interest among self-insured employers and health plans to pay for tests and other preventative services that help keep people healthy in the long-run.

A major part of Color's current business model is to strike deals with these employers, who offer its suite of tests to workers at a discounted rate. Color's tests for genes associated with an increased risk of cancer and heart disease cost $249 out-of-pocket.

Other areas that Color's team is exploring include preventative tests for neurological health, behavioral health, as well as family and reproductive medicine. It is also looking at new ways to support users in the long-run, rather than merely delivering a test result.

"None of our competitors are approaching this problem by thinking about long-term prevention," said Laraki.