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23andMe, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Biotechnology
Founded April 2006
Founder(s) Anne Wojcicki, Linda Avey, and Paul Cusenza
Headquarters Mountain View, California, USA
Key people Anne Wojcicki (CEO), Richard Scheller (Chief Science Officer), Joyce Tung (VP Research), Robert Gentleman (VP Computational Biology), Arnab Chowdry (VP Genetic Technology), Mike Polcari (VP Chief Architect), Amy Satrom (VP Operations)[1]
Products Genetic test
Services Genetic testing, genome analysis and reporting
Owner(s) Privately held, as of October 2018 the company has received $791 million in funding from several prominent technology and health science companies, strategic investors, and venture capital firms[2]
Employees Over 500[3]

23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Mountain View, California, whose mission is to "help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome." As of October 2018 it states that it ships product to more than 50 countries, has more than 5 million customers, and has collected 1 billion phenotypic data points (individual survey responses). The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell.[3]


There is one DNA test available which genotypes around 640,000 SNPs of the human genome with an Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA) customized chip. The test provides ancestry and health information in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. In other countries the test currently only provides ancestry information.

Ancestry / genetic genealogy

For genetic genealogists the following DNA test results are interesting:

  • Autosomal DNA + X-DNA: very good data to trace deep and recent ancestry and find relatives is provided. The test in v3 delivers about 956,000 SNPs on the 22 autosomes and the X-chromosome. This is about 10% of the existing human SNPs [4] and currently a very good coverage.
  • Paternal line - Y chromosome (Y-DNA): basic data for surname projects (paternal clans) and male related prehistory migrations is provided. About 2,000 SNPs are tested and the result mapped to a haplogroup tree with medium resolution (corresponds largely with the outdated YCC tree of 2008). External tools can help to update the Y-DNA haplogroup nomenclature, but can hardly increase the resolution of v3 results.
  • Maternal line - mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): basic data for female related prehistory migrations is provided. About 2,500 SNPs (~15% of mtDNA) are tested and the result mapped to a haplogroup tree with good resolution. External tools can update the assignment to a mtDNA haplogroup and sometimes increase the resolution of v3 results.

All DNA test results can be downloaded as raw data. The various file formats (v2, v3) are widely recognized by external tools.

Chip versions

A range of different chips have been used for the 23andMe test since the introduction of the service:

  • v1: November 2007
  • v2: September 2008, ~555K SNPs
  • v3: November 2010, >900K SNPs
  • v4: November 2013, ~570K SNPs
  • v5 August 2017, ~640K SNPs (change made to Illumina Global Screening Array BeadChip)

Tests done using the version 3 and version 4 chips can be transferred free of charge to the Family Tree DNA Family Finder database. For details see the FTDNA page on the autosomal DNA transfer program.

Rebekah Canada has produced heat maps showing the distribution of SNPs on the 23andMe v2, v3 and v4 chips:

For a list of the Y-SNPs on the 23andMe chips (v2, v3, v4 and v5) see the spreadsheet provided by Tim Janzen which can be downloaded from this link.

International availability

Health, trait and ancestry reports are currently available from 23andMe in the following countries (as of October 2017): Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States. Customers can choose between an ancestry-only test or a combined health and ancestry test. The number of health and trait reports varies by country. Prices and shipping costs vary by country:

United States ( (including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands). The ancestry-only test is $99. The ancestry and health test is $199. Shipping costs $9.95 and includes return shipping.

United Kingdom ( £79 for the ancestry-only test. £149 for the ancestry and health test. £9.99 for return shipping.

Canada (Canada site ( C$249 + C$19.95 for return shipping.

An ancestry and health test is available in the following countries from 23andMe's EU website ( Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden. €99 for the ancestry-only test. €169 for the ancestry and health test. Return shipping costs €9.99.

An ancestry-only test is available for US $99 from 23andMe's international site ( in the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzgovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Island, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Vatican City. Shipping costs vary by country and are as follows:

Australia and New Zealand $39.99

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City $42.99

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzgovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova $47.99

Austria, Greece, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland $48.99

Hong Kong, Singapore $71.99

Czech Republic, Israel $83.99

Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia $86.99

Hungary $127.99

The international shipping costs include the cost of return shipping. Express shipping is also available at an additional charge.

For additional details about international availability see the page on the 23andMe US customer care website US What countries do you ship to? There is a different version of this page for European customers which can be found here.

Package Size & Weight:

  • shipping to recipient DHL envelope: 37x30x5 cm, ~50 g, with all content ~260 g
  • return shipping DHL envelope: 31x25x3 cm, ~60 g, including Kit Box and Kit ~210 g
  • Kit Box: 17.5x13x3.5 cm, ~100 g, including kit ~150 g
  • Kit: 14x7.8x2.8 cm, ~ 50 g
  • sample tube: diameter 1.5 cm, length: ~10 cm

For alternative shipping methods see shipping DNA kits

Scientists and genealogists

Leadership Team: Anne Wojcicki (CEO and Co-Founder), Andy Page (President), Brian T. Naughton PhD (Founding Scientist, Haplogroup Tree Mutation Mapper), Chris Castro (VP Communications), Joanna L. Mountain PhD (Senior Director of Research), Jonathan Ward (VP Strategic Alliances), Judith Blunt (Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance), Neil Rothstein (VP Marketing), Steve Lemon (VP Product and Engineering), Uta Francke MD (Senior Medical Director), Jeffrey D. Pollard MD (Director of Medical Affairs). [5]

Editorial Advisors: Itsik Pe'er, Peter A. Underhill (Y-DNA, M-SNPs). [6]

Scientific Advisory Board: Serafim Batzoglou PhD, George Church PhD, Michael Eisen PhD, Marcus Feldman PhD, Stanley Nelson PhD, Jonathan Pritchard PhD, Uta Francke MD. [7]

Ancestry Ambassadors: CeCe Moore (Your Genetic Genealogist), Ann Turner (ISOGG Y-Tree), Larry Vick, Shannon Christmas, Tim Janzen (ISOGG Y-Tree), Andrea Badger. [8]

Scientific publications and white papers

The 23andMe scientists have published a number of papers in scientific peer-reviewed journals using data from 23andMe customers who have consented to have their information used for research purposes. They have also published white papers outlining the methodology used for many of their features. See the list of 23andMe publications for details.

External tools, further investigation of raw data

With the raw data a variety of tools can be used to explore your DNA further.

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) and full genome



  • Y-DNA SNP identifying: YDNA SNPs Comparison Project (Adriano Squecco, since v2 new SNP have been found, but with v3 and in 2012 the potential of new discoveries seems low.

Other and help


Ancestry Composition Reviews

Press and media

23andMe has been featured on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Oprah Winfrey television show, The New York Times, The Economist, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and has been covered by other high-profile media groups.


Focused on genetic genealogy topics.

  • April 2006: 23andMe was founded by Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey.
  • 17 November 2007: The 23andMe test was officially launched in the US. The initial cost of 23andMe's product for US-consumers was $999 (580,000 SNPs using Illumina technology).[9][10]
  • 22 January 2008: the service was extended to Canada and 49 European countries.[11]
  • September 2008: the test was updated from V1 to V2 and the cost reduced to $399. This was possible with the Illumina HumanHap550-Quad+ chip, capable to read about 600,000 SNPs (expanded range) from all Chromosomes and the mtDNA.[12]
  • September 2009: Co-founder Linda Avey leaves 23andMe to focus on Alzheimer's Research. [13]
  • November 2010: 23andMe introduced an alternative pricing option of $199 with a required one-year subscription of $5 a month. The newly introduced V3 test reads almost 1,000,000 SNPs with the Illumina OmniExpress Plus customized chip (base OmniExpress 733,202 SNPs). For both ancestral lineages (mitochondrial DNA and Y-DNA) over 2000 SNPs are recorded making possible Haplogroup Discovery of over 750 maternal lineages and over 500 different paternal lineages.[14][15]
  • March 2011: the pricing was changed to $99 with $9/month (for at least one year). This subscription would provide subscribers with updates on discoveries made about their DNA over time. A single-fee payment of $399 without the commitment continues also to be available.
  • June 2011: On the SCGS-Meeting 23andMe stated to have tested about 75,000 individuals.[16]
  • June 15, 2011: 23andMe announced in three and a half years of service their database has grown to include the DNA data of more than 100,000 people. Other statistics include 60,000 users had completed on average 10 surveys, 100,000 community forum posts, more than 60,000 pairs of relatives have been discovered, 57% of 23andMe users are male, 47% share their data with other users, and 12% have multiple ancestries.[17]
  • 27 September 2011: 23andMe announced at Health 2.0 in San Francisco a limited enrollment pilot program for current members called Exome 80x. The test will measure 50 million base pairs of the participant's exome at a cost of $999.[18] This new test will not be good for ancestry as the test focuses on the exome and will not measure much of mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA.
  • November 2011 technical status info: v3-only raw data download has 960,520 SNPs (1,764 for Y-DNA and 2,459 for mtDNA). Relative Finder looks for segments of DNA from a common ancestor (IBD = Identical By Descent). Segments of at least 7 cM (centiMorgans) and at least 700 SNPs are reported. Additional segments need to be at least 5 cM and have at least 700 SNPs.[19]
  • December 2011 / Jan. 2012: major discussions about changes of terms for expired PGS subscription customers. Together with customer wishes for more ancestry and genealogical functions a "Ancestry Ambassador Group" was founded, to further the interests of the genetic genealogy community and to promote autosomal DNA testing for genealogy. Members are CeCe Moore, Dr. Ann Turner, Larry Vick, Dr. Tim Janzen, Andrea Badger and Shannon Christmas. [20]
  • 10 May 2012: The subscription model was eliminated and a single $299 price introduced. Before: $99 with required 1-year subscription to 23andMe's Personal Genome Service® billed at $9 per month (including updates on discoveries made about DNA over time). There was also a Prepaid option for $207 which includes the subscription for 1 year. The third option was a lifetime subscription for $399. [21]
  • 11 December 2012: Ancestry Composition (Ancestry Painting 2) released with much more detail comparing to 22 reference populations builded upon customers and public data sets.[22] Company has more than 180,000 customers and sets growth goal of one million customers: single price drops to $99.
  • 25 April 2013: 23andMe has genotyped more than 250,000 customers.[23]
  • May 2013: The ancestral composition of 23andMe's database is as follows: about 65% are of northern European ancestry; 6% African American; 5% eastern Asian; 4.5% Latino; 3.7% southern European; 2.6% South Asian.[24]
  • November 2013: 23andMe introduces the V4 chip (577,382 SNPs) test which tests for significantly less variants then V3 (967,000 SNPs) and is not compatible for transfer to FTDNA Family Finder.
  • 18 June 2015: 23andMe announces that it has genotyped its one millionth customer.[25][26]

Funding and investment

The company has received Series A, B, C and D funding from several prominent technology and health science companies, strategic angel investors and venture capital firms: [27]

Google's co-founder Sergey Brin is married to the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe Anne Wojcicki.


  • 23andMe Medical Innovations Briefing A lecture by Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe. She discusses research into human genomes, the history of 23andMe, how it works, how it has helped patients, and plans for the future. The lecture was filmed at a breakfast briefing at The Royal Society of Medicine in London on 7th May 2013.

Further reading

See also

External links


  1. 23andMe Media Center Leadership page, accessed Oct 2018;
  2. 23andMe Media Center Investor page, accessed Oct 2018; a complete summary listing of major equity investors at
  3. 3.0 3.1 23andMe Media Center "About Us" page, accessed Oct 2018;
  4. "International HapMap Project Overview". International HapMap Project. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  5. Dec. 2013:
  6. Dec. 2013:
  7. Dec. 2013:
  8. Jan. 2012:
  9. Baertlein, Lisa (2007-11-20). "Google-backed 23andMe offers $999 DNA test". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  10. Bettinger Blaine. 23andMe launches their personal genome service. The Genetic Genealogist, 17 November 2007.
  11. 23andMe launches web-based personal genome service. 23andMe press release, 22 January 2008.
  12. "Press Release: 23andMe Democratizes Personal Genetics - September 9, 2008". 
  13. Kara Swisher (2009-09-04). "23andMe Co-Founder Linda Avey Leaves Personal Genetics Start-Up to Focus on Alzheimer's Research". Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  14. "Sale or no Sale - Dr. James M. Owston, December 2, 2011". ; FAQ 23andme: How does 23andMe genotype my DNA? Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison Errata for 23andME Data Compilation, 5 February 2011
  15. "Our Service: Ancestry Features / techniques". 23andMe. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  16. "News from 23andMe and FTDNA at SCGS 2011 Jamboree - June 12, 2011". 
  17. "23andMe Database Surpasses 100,000 Users". 23andMe. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  18. "Exome 80x". 23andMe. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  19. "How does Relative Finder calculate my matches?". 23andMe. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  23. 23andMe Aims to Close Genetics Literacy Gap Among Americans in Celebration of DNA Day. 23andMe press release, 25 April 2013.
  24. Mountain J. "DNA and Family History: Getting the most out of 23andMe’s genealogical features." Handout for a lecture at the Southern California Genealogical Society's 2013 Jamboree. Accessed 1 June 2013.
  25. 23andMe Genotypes One Millionth Customer. 23andMe press release, 18 June 2015.
  26. Wojcicki Anne. Power of one million. 23andMe blog, 18 June 2015.
  27. Apr. 2012: and Corporate Fact Sheet Sep. 2011
  28. "Google invests in genetics firm". BBC News. 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  29. Dec. 2009: and
  30. June 2009: and
  31. (acc. Apr. 2012)
  32. January 2011:

GNU head This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "23andMe".