Viome, the wellness monitoring service founded by Seattle-area tech entrepreneur Naveen Jain, has raised $15 million this month in an investment round, according to documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The equity sale boosts the first commercial venture brought to life by Jain’s BlueDot innovation factory.
Jain deferred comment on the details of the investment today, but in an April interview, he said Viome was just the kind of technological moonshot BlueDot was designed to foster.
“Our moonshot here is, can we create a world where chronic illness becomes a matter of choice?” he said at the time.
Viome provides kits that customers can use to send in samples of their blood, saliva, urine and stool for analysis. The results are factored into a personal wellness profile.
The stool sample is a big part of the process: By analyzing RNA in the sample, Viome can get a species-by-species read on the microbial communities in your gut – not only bacteria, but also viruses, yeast, mold, fungi and parasites.
Scientists have come around to the view that those communities, known collectively as the microbiome, can influence overall health. We’re not just talking about gastrointestinal issues, but potentially also such maladies as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Viome uses artificial intelligence software to generate recommendations on diet, nutrition and lifestyle, and the tests are updated twice a year. The subscription service includes an app-based “wellness companion” called Coach Vie. Payment plans currently run $59 a month or $599 a year.
For now, the recommendations have to be non-medical in nature. The company would have to get approval from the Federal Drug Administration in order to issue medical diagnoses.
Viome, which lists offices in Bellevue, Wash., as well as Cupertino, Calif., faces significant competition in the wellness tech market.
Other contenders include Seattle-based Arivale, which provides testing and monitoring as well as personal wellness coaching; San Francisco-based uBiome, which helps doctors clinical assessments based on microbiome DNA; another San Francisco venture called Habit, which delivers personalized meals based on nutritional profiles; and DayTwo, an Israeli venture that analyzes microbiome DNA to produce diet recommendations.