Embark Veterinary Raises $4.5M For Doggie DNA Testing And More
Pets are big business, probably bigger business than you might imagine. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) pet owners spent $66.75 billion dollars on their pets in 2016 alone. According to CNN Money pets are hot in startups too. Investors poured $486 million into pet startups between 2012 and 2016.
Most pet related startups have to do with either pet tracking, training or feeding. An Austin startup called Embark Veterinary is doing something a little bit different.
Embark Veterinary is the 23andMe for doggies. If you’re not familiar, 23andMe is the company founded by Xoogler Anne Wojcicki that allows people to do DNA tests at home to track their origin. The home testing kit from 23andMe runs $149. Embark charges $199 to test your dog. The difference in pricing wasn’t a deterent to Wojicki though as she participated in Embark’s recent $4.5 million dollar funding.
Founder Collective led the round with participation from Freestyle Capital, ThirdKind, Section 32 and SV Angel, along with Wojicki. The valuation of the round was not reported. The company has raised a total of $6.5 million dollars to date.
Embark is able to test for over 200,000 genetic markers and recognize 175 different dog breeds with it’s test. If you’ve always wanted to know what your black lab was mixed with, Embark may be for you. But their testing can identify other important genetic information that is valuable to veterinarians and researchers.
“We want doggie DNA testing to be not something you just do for fun, but we want to use it to push the whole field forward,” Adam Boyko the company’s co-founder told CNN, adding the firm also delivers raw data so it can be shared with vets or researchers. “There’s a research utility for discovering new genetic associations and advancing the field of canine genetics.”
The company is able to use this genetic information to do research on K9 diseases. Boyko says that they will never share customer’s personal information however unless the customer opts out it will share anonymous findings with scientists for research.
Want to get your doggie tested? Check out Embark Veterinary, here.