Alibaba, Beyond Ventures lead $40m funding round in genetic testing startup Prenetics

Photo: Prenetics website

Genetic testing startup Prenetics has raised $40 million in a funding round led by Hong Kong-based venture capital fund Beyond Ventures and the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

The round was joined by other strategic investors including Yuantai Investment Partners, mFund and eGarden Ventures. Previous Prenetics backers have included Ping An Ventures, Lippo Group-backed Venturra Capital and REAPRA.

With the latest round, Prenetics has now raised more than $50 million. In a statement, the company said it will use the funds for leveraging Big Data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), continued R&D, hiring more engineers and scientists, M&A and expanding its footprint throughout Southeast Asia and China.

“A sharp focus on preventative and digital health means Prenetics has the potential to significantly disrupt the health care sector and improve the lives of millions of people around the world,” said Lap Man, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Beyond Ventures.

“In a short time, (Prenetics) has emerged as Southeast Asia’s market leader in genetic testing and digital health. We look forward to working closely with Prenetics throughout Alibaba’s network of companies to provide individuals with valuable health information,” said Cindy Chow, Executive Director, Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneur’s Fund.

Prenetics claims to have already processed nearly 200,000 DNA samples. The company said that sales of genetic tests are expected to reach $10 billion within a decade.

Its offerings include a digital health-coaching app that provides individuals with a DNA profile to facilitate optimal diet, fitness and response to drugs. The app, Prenetics said, also helps people understand their genetic risk of common health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The startup also provides DNA sequencing for individuals to understand their risk of common hereditary cancers as well as a family-prep DNA screen for couples seeking to have children.

Prenetics also partners with insurance companies such as Prudential, AIA, HSBC Insurance and Muang Thai Life to provide health information for policyholders. It currently offers its products in Hong KongSingaporeMalaysia and Thailand.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.