Nalagenetics raises pre-seed funding from East Ventures, others

Singapore-based genetic testing startup, Nalagenetics has raised $1-million in its pre-seed funding round led by early-stage investor East Ventures. Other investors include Indonesia’s Intudo Ventures and a number of strategic angel investors have also joined in this round.

As per the company’s statement, the newly raised capital will help Nalagenetics to complete proof-of-value projects in partnership with leading hospitals and providers in Singapore and Indonesia as well as it will enable the company to recruit new talents across the business function.

Founded in 2016 by scientists Dr Jianjun Liu, Dr Astrid Irwanto, Dr Alexander Lezhava, and Levana Sani, Nalagenetics is a biotech company dedicated to reducing adverse drug reactions and increase prescription efficacy through genetic testing. The company believes that knowing a person’s genetic makeup can save patients from unwanted, sometimes deadly, adverse side effects, which in the US is estimated to waste about $30 billion of the country’s healthcare resources.

“What Nalagenetics is solving will do good for Asian populations. We are really passionate to assist them to make sure their cost-effective solutions are accessible to a wider audience. This is a kind of startup that commercial gain is irrelevant because the impact of their product is enormous,” said East Ventures co-founder and managing partner Willson Cuaca.

The two-year-old startup aims to develop genetic tests that are easier to understand, more affordable and localized for Asian physicians and patients by studying how certain DNA characteristics affect drug responses.

Notably, the startup was incubated under Harvard’s Venture Incubation Program and obtained support to develop and validate its genetic tests at Genome Institute of Singapore through Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL).

For early-stage investor East Ventures, Nalagenetics marks its first investment in a biotech company. With a special focus on SEA and Japan, the VC firm has previously invested in the healthcare industry by backing Konsula in 2015. It counts Tokopedia, Traveloka and MokaPOS as portfolio companies that have joined the unicorn club.