(Yicai Global) Jan. 30 -- The venture capital arm of China's biggest genome sequencing firm, BGI Genomics Co., has participated in the latest funding round of WeGene, a leading provider of personal gene testing.
WeGene, operated by Shenzhen-based Zaozhidao Technology Ltd., will use the funds to carry out research and development related to testing and aims to use its technology to promote healthy living for people in China, media outlet Lieyunwang reported.
BGI's funding builds on a cooperation agreement signed in April last year, which aims to provide WeGene customers with more reliable data and a personalized service.
Several other investors including Ameba Capital and Zhuojia Group also took part in this round, with the specific amount undisclosed.
Demand in China for personal gene-testing is on the rise with over 150 genomics firms in operation, of which 70 percent provide gene-testing as their main product. Investment in these firms is also expanding, with 40 Chinese gene companies receiving around USD12 billion in 2016, estimated online news outlet CN Healthcare.
WeGene is one of the largest genomic data platforms in China. So far, it has accumulated 100,000 pieces of data on Chinese genes and is expected to boast more than 400,000 pieces of genome data by the end of this year. The company has served tens of thousands of users since its products were released in late 2015.
Established in 1999, BGI Genomics supplies products and services covering the entire gene sequencing industry chain, including upstream sequencers and reagents and downstream GS services.