Google and the genome start-up: a sweetheart deal?

The co-founder of Google's latest investment is married to a Google co-founder.

Google investing in a start-up? Not that surprising. But this start-up isn't exactly aimed at the search business.

Google and the genome start-up: a sweetheart deal?

The Internet giant has pumped $3.9 million into biotech researcher 23andMe, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The start-up focuses on ways to help people understand their genetic blueprint.

The link between search and genetics isn't immediately obvious. But a closer look reveals more: 23andMe was co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, who married Google co-founder Sergey Brin last month.

While a Google spokesman said Brin had recused himself from all discussions regarding the investment, bloggers were still wondering why the investment in the genome company came from Google's public holdings, and not Brin's considerable personal fortune.

Blog community response:

"Is this another example of new billionaire hubris following the whole private plane debacle last year, or yet another savvy start-up investment by Google? By the way, does anyone find it deliciously ironic that 23andMe's slogan is 'Genetics is About to Get Personal'?"
--Mark Evans

"So what's the connection with Google? No idea, yet, but these companies are now firmly in bed with each other (pun intended)."
--TechCrunch

"Still, this move by Google will do little to quiet those who think the company is too arrogant. After all, most husbands give their new bride a nice shiny ring as a wedding present, not money from the public company that they just so happen to own a controlling stake in."
--Media Biz

 

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