The Business On... Anne Wojcicki, Chief executive, 23andMe


Never heard of her

Perhaps you have heard of her husband, one Sergey Brin, computer scientist, co-founder of Google, billionaire. The pair met when Ms Wojcicki's older sister rented her Silicon Valley garage to two budding entrepreneurs with an idea for a search engine. The rest, as they say...



Another genius?

Daughter of a Stanford professor, biology graduate of Yale, co-founder of a company that wants to bring genetic testing to the masses. The name, 23andMe, refers to the number of pairs of chromosomes we all have.



What's the company doing?

For $500 a pop, it will test a sample of your saliva and tell you what that might mean about your ancestry and diseases you might be prone to.



How's the company doing?

It gets by with a little help from its friends.



By which you mean...?

A lot of its funding comes from Google, or more specifically from Google Ventures, the company's venture capital arm. This week, 23andMe said it had raised an additional $22m, including $3.2m from Google. Of the $44m raised since start-up, $10.2m has been from Google Ventures.



I hope you're not suggesting nepotism

It has all been done by the book, Google says, with Mr Brin recusing himself from investment decisions regarding 23andMe, and other investors taking the lead on negotiating price. "By the book beyond belief," Google chief executive Eric Schmidt once said.



So, can we expect 23andMe to be the Google of genetics?

That is certainly the ambition. The Brins share a view of the genome as a kind of software code for the human body, and of genetic predisposition to disease as a kind of bug in the code. Google has always lived by a mission statement of "arranging the world's information"; 23andMe's is "helping individuals understand their own genetic information".



I'm sold

OK, sir. If you would just spit into this tube...

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor