While 23andMe didn’t say much about how its strategy might change by going public, it was keen to promote its contributions to genetic research and its involvement in therapeutic programs for conditions like cardiovascular disease and respiratory issues. As Sir Branson suggested, the public offering could help 23andMe “revolutionize” personalized medicine.
The move could pose a challenge. As a public company, 23andMe will have to deliver value to shareholders to justify its existence — and that means genetics services that turn a healthy profit. It might also have to reassure investors that it has addressed DNA testing privacy concerns, such as police requests. There’s a lot of potential, though, and this might give 23andMe an edge over competitors that won’t have the same financial clout.