Alphabet Invests in Bay Area Biotech Startup, Builds It a New Lab on Verily Campus

Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences spinoff, has invested in Bay Area biotech startup Freenome in a $65 million Series A round.

Freenome’s work revolves around detecting early-stage cancer.

As part of the investment, Verily constructed a new lab for the company. Freenome’s 40 employees have already moved to the new facility.

“We are providing office space to Freenome in order to foster collaboration between the two companies,” a Verily spokesperson said.

The company didn’t make any further comment on the investment, and it is still unknown whether Verily considers Freenome an acquisition target.

Freenome CEO Gabriel Otte co-founded the company in 2015, looking to use machine learning to seek out the biological signs of cancer. Andressen Horowitz led Freenome’s recent funding round; others involved in the round included AME Cloud Ventures, Asset Management Ventures, Charles River Associates, Data Collective, and Founders Fund.

Freenome’s competition includes GRAIL, which has raised almost $1 billion to detect early signs of cancer. GRAIL is backed by investors including McKesson Ventures, Bill Gates, Bezos Expeditions, Illumina, and Sutter Hill Ventures. Grail’s funding will be used to back one of the biggest clinical trials ever conducted.

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