Hyderabad-based Mapmygenome India — a provider of personal genomics and predictive tests which has seen investments from the likes of Google India managing director Rajan Anandan — is planning to raise about Rs 50-60 crore in the next 12 months. The company is planning to spread the benefits of genome mapping across the country through genetic counsellors, besides scaling up research on predictive diagnostics. Mapping the genome aids in predicting, preventing and treating a number of diseases and understanding the gene-disease interaction.
“We recently raised Rs 10 crore, which includes Rs 3 crore from the founders. We are in talks with investors to raise about Rs 50-60 crore in the next 12 months. Currently, we are consolidating our team and optimising the operations process,” Anu Acharya, CEO, Mapmygenome, told FE. The company recently raised a pre-series A round of funding from multiple sources, including several entrepreneurs and angel investors.
The list of investors includes names like Aarti Grover, MD, CMS Computers, Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India, Arihant Patni, MD, Hive Technologies, and Satveer Singh Thakral, CEO of Singapore Angel Network, among others. Avendus Wealth Management, the wealth management subsidiary of Avendus Capital, was the advisor for this round.
“The funds will help scale up our operations in India and globally. We are looking to expand our team, which includes leadership, sales and marketing and the genetic counseling network. We are also looking to invest in some assets and scale up our research,” Anu Acharya, who was honoured as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, said. “Genetics in healthcare is currently the most-talked-about topic in academia, industry and government. We see a great interest in personal genomics and precision medicine, especially in the US and China. As governments and healthcare providers realise the clinical utility of these tests in preventive healthcare, we are bound to see more interest. In future, genetic tests are likely to be integrated to personal healthcare plans,” said Acharya, also a founder and CEO of Hyderabad-based Ocimum Bio Solutions, a genomics outsourcing company for discovery, development and diagnostics.
Personal genomics in India is still a niche and nascent segment. The company has created a new market for predictive tests with its flagship brand, Genomepatri. Personal genomics products provide insights into the genetic basis of individuals health, including traits, lifestyle, drug responses, inherited conditions and diseases, combining genetic report and health history with genetic counseling, The company provides actionable steps for individuals and their physicians towards a healthier life. Molecular diagnostics are tests recommended by doctors for cancer, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and other key conditions.
Experts have predicted a future where individuals take charge of their personal health and become proactive players. Genetics is one such technology that can help in the knowledge of DNA for variants that can trigger a condition and can prompt individuals to switch to healthier lifestyles. Social sharing can also prompt support groups for people who are at a higher risk for some condition.
“A key component of our marketing strategy is partnership with healthcare providers in India and abroad. We already have 30-odd such partnerships. In the near future, we are planning to nurture more such partnerships. We have our genetic counselors working from various hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. We hope to add more genetic counselors to our team. The sales team will also see an improvement in terms of quality and quantity. Other plans include improvements to website and user experience,” she said.
Genome mapping is at the forefront of technological innovation in the healthcare sector. “With rising affluence and lifestyle changes in India, predictive diagnostics is increasingly becoming a part of the holistic health movement,” Anu said. Mapmygenome India offers a variety of services in the domains of personal genomics, molecular diagnostics, DNA forensics and brain wellness. Their products and services can be purchased from their stores online and through their e-commerce partners such as Snapdeal and Amazon.