The environment is different today with funding becoming easier for new, first-time entrepreneurs with unproven business models".
--Anuradha Acharya, CEO and Founder, Mapmygenome
Indian genomics pioneer mapmygenome.com has recently raised USD 1.1 million from angel investors, a sign of its growing maturity and success. The molecular diagnostic company, set up by Anuradha Acharya, will use the fund to scale its operations and expand distribution locally and globally.
We will expand our team, leadership, sales and marketing and genetic counselling network", Anuradha says. Mapmygenome is Anuradha's second start-up (the first being Ocimum) and the result of a realization that the quantity of data on India's genetic pool, is very small.
"We wanted to use genomic technology to reach consumers directly-to help them know more about themselves. Once people understand their genes as well as lifestyles, they will develop more healthy habits and save themselves from diseases instead of being treated for them", Anuradha states.
Anuradha, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, moved back to India from the US at a time when the start-up scene was in a very nascent phase. In her opinion, the environment is different today with funding becoming easier for new, first-time entrepreneurs with unproven business models.
According to Anuradha, start-ups need to treat life as a marathon, recognizing that there is a bigger, more long-term goal of the journey. "I am glad I persisted and did not give up at the first chance. In a new and difficult environment this attitude played a critical part", she adds.
Today, Mapmygenome has two main businesses including a personal genomics part which is more people-oriented. "We reach out to path labs and have tied up with hospitals to cater to corporates and individuals", Anuradha informs.
Mapmygenome also conducts tests for Tuberculosis, a business that has picked up well. While the genomics business has touched 3,000 people, TB tests have been conducted for around 400-500 patients.
Going forward, Mapmygenome will continue to work at getting high quality data on the samples being processed. "We will additionally perform research on the database we are trying to build by getting a large amount of samples. On the personal genomics side, with informed consent, we want to build data that will enable us to look at the Indian genome more carefully", Anuradha adds.
Speaking about the support the company has received from NASSCOM since its early days, Anuradha says the chamber has been catalyzing the growth of product companies. "It has been a fantastic experience for us. NASSCOM has played a key role and the products piece has been a great success. Companies need to say a big thank you to NASSCOM for helping drive innovation and guiding start-ups", Anuradha shares.