Google invests in startup of co-founder's wife

Google Incorporated co-founder Sergey Brin and biotechnology entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki are married, not only religiously, but now in business too. Google has invested $3.9 million to obtain a minority stake in Wojcicki's biotech startup, 23andMe Incorporated. Google's audit committee consulted an independent adviser to assess the startup's value. Google invested in 23andMe as part of its goal of developing new ways to help people make sense of their genetic information, said spokesman Jon Murchinson. He said Brin recused himself from all management and board discussions about the 23andMe investment to avoid a conflict of interest. Any criticism of Google's ties to 23andMe is likely to be tempered by the investment's relatively small size. Google earned $1 billion during the first quarter, or about $11 million per day, and ended March with $11.9 billion in cash.

Formerly a biotech investor herself, Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe last year with biopharmaceutical industry veteran Linda Avey. The startup, located near Google's Mountain View headquarters, is trying to "allow individuals to gain deeper insights into their ancestry, genealogy and inherited traits," said Wojcicki. The startup, whose name refers the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans, plans to officially launch by the end of this year.

News source: CNN

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