SA e-health startup 3X4 Genetics raises $2.5m to fund US expansion

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South African genetics-based e-health startup 3X4 Genetics has raised US$2.5 million in Series A funding to help it expand to the United States (US) and enhance its product offering.

Founded in 2018 by expert scientist Dr Yael Joffe and technology and behavioural specialist Jason Haddock, 3X4 Genetics is a genetics-based e-health company offering a comprehensive solution that includes next-generation genetic testing protocols through a highly trained practitioner network.

This in turn supports real, thoroughly-informed diet and lifestyle changes that enhance health, well-being and performance. Drawing on deep practitioner experience, 3X4 Genetics claims to be a powerful disruptor when it comes to nutrigenetic testing with an offering that has no equal worldwide.  

“3X4 tests are innovatively rooted in systems biology and functional medicine, and modelled on rich gene-based pathway analysis versus the paucity of testing of single gene variants,” Haddock said. 

“The results, in the hands of a dedicated practitioner, specifically upskilled in nutrigenomics, provide consumers with scientifically valid, clinically useful and comprehensive feedback that effectively translates the complexity of their genes into clear and actionable daily choices for their optimal health.”

The startup received initial angel funding in January 2018 and has since secured US$2.5 million in Series A funding from the US-based Alethea Capital. The funding will be used for enhancing its current product offering and expanding the business in the US in 2020.

3×4 Genetics will be opening in Seattle to an exclusive group of US practitioners on February 1, and has also secured an agreement with Canyon Ranch, a luxury wellness and lifestyle brand that operates two destination health spa resorts in the US. 

Haddock said uptake of the service offering to practitioners has been growing steadily over the 18 months. 

“As 3X4 employs a food-first approach to genetics, the largest uptake has been the dietetics community. We have also recently launched our e-commerce platform where we sell directly to consumers and then direct them to health care practitioners for their feedback sessions,” he said.

“We offer a world class education course to enable licensed health care practitioners to add nutrigenetics to their existing suite of healthcare services.”

As society begins to increasingly look to technology to address their questions regarding their health, Haddock believes 3X4 Genetics’ combination of science and technology to make the insights offered by genetic testing more accessible and relatable to the average person will prove very attractive. 

“Every minute of every day we make decisions that affect our genes and, in turn, our health. If we really understand ourselves and our genes, we can understand the implications of every decision. By offering customers unique pathway-based genetic health insights, we’re in a position to help them make the best health choices. Our overarching goal is to help our 10 million customers achieve their human health potential,” he said.

In addition to its patented pathway-based genetics test, 3X4 Genetics has also developed an education platform that offers a route for practitioners to become experts in translational genomics, enabling them to offer genetic testing as a value-add to their clients and giving their clients peace of mind knowing that the practitioner they are working with is a trained expert in the field.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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