REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Gene Security Network Inc. (GSN) today announced the completion of a $20 million financing round, as well as the change of the company’s name to Natera, Inc. The financing round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, which is joined in the current round by Claremont Creek Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
“For me, our new name evokes birth, nature, and earth, and reflects our mission to help couples around the world manage pregnancies and reduce the risk of genetic disease,” said Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of Natera. “With proceeds from the funding and the extensive expertise of our team, we will continue to develop diagnostics that lead the industry in terms of the breadth, speed and reliability of information delivered to expecting couples at the early stages of pregnancy.”
Ravi Mhatre, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, added, “Lightspeed Venture Partners is delighted to have led this financing. We believe that Natera’s testing services and expertise represent the future of prenatal diagnostics.”
Proceeds from the financing will support the continued development and commercialization of the company’s non-invasive prenatal diagnostic for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. This includes the expansion of the NIH-funded clinical trial and preparing for commercial launch of the test in 2012.
“Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis is poised to redefine pregnancy management around the world,” said Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. “This additional financing and the launch of Natera’s next product will fundamentally change the quality of prenatal care to help families have healthy children.”
Added John Steuart, managing director at Claremont Creek Ventures, “We have been involved with Natera since its inception. With a steadfast focus on helping doctors give couples the best chance of having a healthy child, the company has successfully launched multiple products and has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. That is why we’re very pleased to be part of this financing and look forward to seeing the company take the next step.”
About Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm with over $2 billion of committed capital under management. Lightspeed's investment professionals and advisors are located in Silicon Valley, China, India, and Israel. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed more than 150 companies, many of which have become leaders in their respective markets, including Blue Nile, Brocade, Calista, Ciena, DoubleClick, eHealth, Fusion-io, Galileo Technology, Growth Networks, Informatica, Kiva Software, LivingSocial, Lucky Pai, Maker Communications, Phone.com, Playdom, Pliant Technology, Provigent, Riverbed, TutorVista, Virsa Systems, and Waveset. For more information, visit the Lightspeed website: www.lightspeedvp.com
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures is a seed and early stage venture firm. We focus on information technology (IT) driven opportunities where we have deep domain expertise, including – but not limited to – digital healthcare, energy technology, payments/commerce, and online businesses. We’ve aligned our investment approach with what we have found is the most effective way to build successful companies today – staying lean, using capital efficiently, and developing great teams. Utilizing a proprietary life-cycle venturing program, we partner with entrepreneurs and institutions, including UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Stanford University and UC Davis. Claremont Creek has more than $300 million in capital under management in two funds. CCV’s digital healthcare investments in addition to Gene Security Networks include AssureRX, Cellscope, Fluxion Biosciences, Geneweave Biosciences and Tibion. For more information, visit www.claremontcreek.com.
About Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital provides venture capital funding to founders of startups who want to turn business ideas into enduring companies. As the "Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs", Sequoia Capital's Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of NetApp, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of NVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Networks, Jonathan Kaplan of Pure Digital, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Omar Hamoui of Admob and Steve Streit of Green Dot. To learn more about Sequoia Capital visit www.sequoiacap.com/us/healthcare.
About Natera (Gene Security Network)
Natera is a genetic testing company that has developed a proprietary bioinformatics technology (Parental Support) to deliver accurate and comprehensive high throughput testing for reproductive indications from tiny quantities of DNA – as small as that from a single cell. Natera operates a CLIA laboratory in Redwood City, Calif., providing a host of preconception and prenatal genetic testing services. Test offerings include preimplantation genetic diagnosis to analyze chromosomal anomalies or inherited genetic conditions during an IVF cycle in order to select embryos with the highest probability of becoming healthy children; products of conception testing following miscarriage to rapidly and extensively analyze fetal chromosomes in order to understand the cause; and non-invasive prenatal testing to determine paternity or detect genetic disease by analyzing fragments of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother’s blood drawn in the first trimester. Non-invasive testing for paternity is currently available worldwide. Natera's clinical trial for non-invasive detection of chromosomal anomalies is funded by the NIH and is being conducted by the leaders in maternal-fetal medicine in the United States. For more information, visit www.natera.com.
Ian Stone, 619-308-6540
Lena Evans, 212-845-4262
Jennifer Keller, 650-249-9090, ext. 309