Feb 5, 2021

Biotech firm 23andMe to go public via Richard Branson SPAC

23andMe
Biotech
database
MedTech
William Smith
2 min
23andMe is just one of a raft of biotechnology solutions that have emerged to provide consumers access to genetic testing technology
23andMe is just one of a raft of biotechnology solutions that have emerged to provide consumers access to genetic testing technology...

Sunnyvale, California-based DNA testing and analysis biotech company 23andMe has announced a plan to go public via a merger with Virgin Group’s VG Acquisition Corp.

The merger with the special purpose acquisition company is expected to close during the second quarter of this year, valuing 23andMe at approximately $3.5bn.

The company said the transaction would allow it access to the capital necessary to fund its growth, with 23andMe CEO and cofounder Anne Wojcicki and Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson investing $25mn each.

“Of the hundreds of companies we reviewed for our SPAC, 23andMe stands head and shoulders above the rest,” said Branson. “As an early investor, I have seen 23andMe develop into a company with enormous growth potential. Driven by Anne’s vision to empower consumers, and with our support, I’m excited to see 23andMe make a positive difference to many more people’s lives.”

23andMe is just one of a raft of biotechnology solutions that have emerged to provide consumers access to genetic testing technology. Usually combining both ancestry and health information, 23andMe skews towards the latter side of the equation, providing reports about an individual’s predisposition to certain health conditions.

Creating a research database

Ethical questions have been raised about the use of the data gleaned from individuals. 23andMe says that 80% of its customers choose to have their genotypic and phenotypic data entered into a database for genetic research, with the company having 30 programmes in areas including oncology and cardiovascular diseases.

“We have always believed that healthcare needs to be driven by the consumer, and we have a huge opportunity to help personalize the entire experience at scale, allowing individuals to be more proactive about their health and wellness. Through a genetics-based approach, we fundamentally believe we can transform the continuum of healthcare,” said Wojcicki.

(Image: 23andMe)

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May 7, 2021

KX and Microsoft partner to scale up real-time analytics

Analytics
Tilly Kenyon
2 min
KX and Microsoft partner to work together in helping companies scale up their real-time analytics and decision making proficiency
KX and Microsoft partner to work together in helping companies scale up their real-time analytics and decision making proficiency...

KX, a data analysis software developer and vendor, announced it has become a Microsoft Partner. The two companies are working together to build a long-term technical and go-to-market roadmap to enable companies to rapidly scale up their real-time analytics and decision-making capabilities.

This announcement has followed the launch of KX Insights, which is a cloud-first platform for streaming analytics that fully leverages the benefits of cloud architecture natively to deliver fast, scalable real-time data insights via the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

“KX Insights takes full advantage of the Microsoft Azure platform to deliver the optimal performance while maintaining interoperability with existing processes and data,” says Gerry Buggy, Chief Strategy Officer at KX.

“Together with Microsoft, we are offering a streaming analytics solution that is fast, secure, and flexible. It’s a game-changer for firms looking to drive operational and commercial performance through real-time analytics.”

KX Insights has been built to leverage vast amounts of real-time data in a scalable and easy-to-use manner. It has been benchmarked as the fastest in the industry according to independent STAC benchmarks. The platform also operates on Amazon AWS and Google Cloud, plus on all public and private clouds and on-premises too where required. 

Moving to the cloud 

Cloud computing is all about moving the essential systems and resources of your business to a remote server, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the move for many businesses. 

The recent 2021 Flexera State of the Cloud Report found that 92% of respondents reported having a multi-cloud strategy. 82% are taking a hybrid approach, combining the use of both public and private clouds. More than half of respondents use the cloud heavily and have reached the advanced cloud maturity level. 21% of organisations are at the intermediate maturity level, and 19% are beginners.

The report showed that many of the advantages delivered by the cloud have proven to be especially valuable as organisations adapted over the past year to meet the rapidly evolving needs of businesses.

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