Interview Synopsis

Ancestry – recent sale & H2 2020 update

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • North America

The coronavirus pandemic has spurred interest in life sciences and other areas of medicine, from a personal interest and investment perspective. In August, Utah-based genealogy company LLC was acquired by Blackstone from private equity funds in a USD 4.7bn deal. Third Bridge Forum spoke to a former VP at the company for a H2 2020 update. 

Putting the future of recently-acquired under the mircoscope

The Interview started with an overview of trends in consumer genetic testing, with the expert observing a slowdown at industry leaders, 23andMe and Ancestry. “It raises the question of whether we’ve saturated the market for consumer DNA testing in the US,” he said. The specialist explored the reasons for the slowdown, which for Ancestry started in 2018 following robust growth in its DNA business from 2015 through 2017. In February 2020, Ancestry announced layoffs due to weakness in its consumer DNA business. However, these companies are still doing “millions of tests a year”. 

The Interview also explored the trends affecting core customer demographics. Among the expert’s observations was that “the gap has been the millennial and Gen Z opportunities” while “international growth is a big opportunity”. The role that Ancestry and its peers could play through data use agreements to explain differences in immune response among COVID-19 patients was also on the agenda. 

Ancestry’s competitive positioning in the industry versus its direct-to-consumer DNA testing peers and non-pure-play businesses was also discussed. Competitors include MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, FitnessGenes, DNAfit and Vitagene. Despite the aforementioned slowdown, the expert anticipates that the two leaders, Ancestry and 23andMe, “will continue to lead by virtue of their networks”.

Overall, the specialist is upbeat about Ancestry and the broader consumer genomics industry: “My expectation is that we’ll see a lot of international growth and a lot of innovative, new offerings coming out to… expand use cases and user applications where consumer genetic testing companies can upsell.”

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s Ancestry – recent sale & H2 2020 update Interview, click here to view the full transcript. 

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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