Genetics Startup Proves Value of Family Ties

23andMe, started by Google founder's wife, nets another $2.6 million from the search engine

23andMe , a local company that offers relatively inexpensive genetic testing, has received another hot cash infusion from Google . The company has raised a total of $22.6 million so far, and is looking for another $8.7 million in investments.

How can a company once investigated by state health regulators offering a service some doctors consider to have little medical value be so attractive to investors? It might help that 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki happens to be married to Google cofounder Sergey Brin .

In fact, this latest fundraising drive has had the benefit of turning $10 million in loans Brin made to the company into shares of the venture for Brin, the second time Brin has essentially been reimbursed for loans in the form of equity once Google and other investors chipped in.

23andMe has also benefited from funding for Parkinson's research from the Michael J. Fox foundation, a nonprofit supported by Brin. Fox has Parkinson's disease, and Brin has been diagnosed as being at high risk of suffering from the neurological syndrome.

"23andme helps people make sense of their genetic information, a mission we support and view as being consistent with Google’s goal of organizing the world’s information," Google spokesperson Jane Penner told VentureBeat .

Jackson West would marry a Google cofounder if they offered me convertible debt loans.

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