7. 23andMe

A genetics house call.

Founders: Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza, Anne Wojcicki (CEO)
Launched: 2006
Headquarters: Mountain View, California
$490.7 million (PitchBook)
Valuation: $1.8 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, machine learning
Genetic testing

George Kavallines | CNBC

Research is becoming the focus for this personal genetics company five years after the Food and Drug Administration stopped it from selling its genomics tests. Granted, in 2015 23andMe did get authorization to market genetic reports on an individual's risk for a handful of diseases. But since then, the company has also been hiring more scientists and medical researchers and partnering with others to explore more sophisticated studies. For instance, early last year it partnered with Celmatix, a genetics company studying fertility, to see how certain genes can affect a woman's ability to get pregnant. And earlier this year, 23andMe announced that it received the green light from the FDA to launch, direct to consumers, kits that allow them to test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are linked to a higher risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki called it a "major milestone for 23andMe and for the consumer."

Read More: FULL LIST: 2018 DISRUPTOR 50

The company claims that it has more than 5 million customers worldwide, with over 80 percent of them willing to share the results of their data to help further research for cures and treatments. There are two types of information consumers can purchase. For $99 they can receive information about their ancestry and where relatives once lived around the world. For $199 customers can receive that information as well as dozens of reports on their genetic health risks and wellness measures. The process is the same for both: Folks provide a sample of their saliva in a vial provided by the company and then send it back in the prepaid envelope.

In September 23andMe (the name refers to the fact that human DNA is organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes) raised $250 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital, a new investor for the company. That brings its total funding to $490.7 million and its valuation to around $1.8 billion. Despite the good news from the FDA, the company has been quiet about a possible IPO. Other investors during previous rounds include Fidelity and Google parent Alphabet's GV arm.

This story has been updated to reflect that 23andMe has more than 5 million customers worldwide.