LetsGetChecked raises $71m for its at-home health testing kits

6 May 2020

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LetsGetChecked has raised $71m in funding as the start-up sees increased demand for its at-home health testing kits.

LetsGetChecked, an at-home health testing start-up with operations in Dublin and New York, has raised $71m in a Series C funding round.

The company allows customers to order health tests online, collect their own samples and return it using a prepaid shipping label. Users can then check their test results online.

It offers a variety of different tests, including male and female hormone tests, fertility tests, HPV tests, STI testing kits and wellness tests that screen users for cholesterol levels, diabetes risk and various vitamin levels. It has also developed a two-part test for Covid-19, which was initially aimed at frontline healthcare workers.

According to the Irish Times, LetsGetChecked’s Series C round was led by Illumina Ventures and HLM Venture Partners, with participation from new investors Deerfield, Commonfund Capital and Angeles Investments. Existing investors Transformation Capital, Optum Ventures and Qiming Venture Partners USA also returned.

Fresh funding

The company, which was founded in 2015, has a Dublin office located in Dún Laoghaire. Last November, it announced plans to nearly double its headcount in 2020, hiring 70 people in Dublin and 50 people in New York, bringing its total workforce to around 250.

The start-up said that its screening kits have been used to test more than 335,000 people in the past five years, with 13,500 infections and diseases detected.

Prior to this Series C, the company had raised around $43.7m in funding, including a $30m round in May last year, backed by Leerink Transformation Partners, Optum Ventures and Qiming Venture Partners USA, and a $12m Series A round in 2018.

LetsGetChecked said that its latest round of funding will help scale up manufacturing and lab capacity. It will also support the roll out of its two-part Covid-19 test, which includes a rapid blood test that aims to identify antibodies associated with Covid-19, followed by a laboratory-based confirmation test using swab samples collected from the throat and nasal cavity.

While there are questions about whether antibody tests alone are reliable enough for wide public testing, LetsGetChecked has said that its combination of tests offers “a unique and comprehensive approach to coronavirus testing”.

Increased demand

Speaking to TechCrunch, LetsGetChecked CEO Peter Foley said that demand for the start-up’s services has increased with more people remaining at home and avoiding hospitals or GP offices at the moment.

“People are very focused on Covid-19. [But] we’re seeing trends of increase in everything else,” Foley explained. “This situation has definitely legitimised the space of home diagnostics. We are seeing spikes in those kinds of tests. Everything that needs monitoring, we’re seeing spikes in.”

Foley added that the start-up has not been badly affected by supply chain disruptions that other businesses have experienced, as its manufacturing plant is based in Queens, New York. The company has its own lab facilities and can conduct tests without using labs that are currently devoting their resources to Covid-19 screening.

The Irish Times reported that Foley has written to the Minister for Health, as well as other frontline decision makers in Ireland, about using its Covid-19 tests.

“We are working hard to deliver Covid-19 testing to frontline and healthcare workers and want to be able to contribute to the overall solution in Ireland,” he said.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic