Genetic testing startup Prenetics gets $40M from investors, including Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund

Prenetics, a genetic testing startup, plans to expand into more Asian countries after raising a $40 million Series B led by Beyond Ventures and Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.

The round also includes capital from Yuantai Investment Partners, mFund and eGarden Ventures, and brings Prenetics’ total raised so far to $50 million. The capital will be spent on product development, hiring more engineers and scientists, mergers and acquisitions and expanding in China and Southeast Asia.

Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund was launched as a nonprofit in 2015 to support companies that can potentially contribute to Alibaba’s ecosystem. While Alibaba is best known for e-commerce, the tech giant also runs a healthcare subsidiary called Alibaba Health Information Technology (known as Ali Health).

Prenetics partners with insurance companies to provide genetic tests to policyholders and is currently available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, with more country launches planned as part of its expansion. It claims to have processed 200,000 DNA samples so far.

TechCrunch last covered Prenetics when it announced its Series A in March 2016. Since then, chief executive officer Danny Yeung tells us that the company has expanded from one product to “building an entire health eco-system” that focuses on preventative health. Its offerings now include genetic tests for diet, hereditary health conditions, responses to medication, risk of inherited cancers and preconception screening. People who have taken a Prenetics test also have access to apps that use their DNA profile to make diet and lifestyle recommendations.

In a press statement, Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund executive director Cindy Chow said “We have been highly impressed with the mission and business strategy adopted by Prenetics. In a short time, the company has emerged as Southeast Asia’s market leader in genetic testing and digital health. We look forward to working closely with Prenetics throughout Alibaba’s network of companies to provide individuals with valuable health information.”