Hong Kong Genetic testing startup Prenetics is going public through a $1.7 billion SPAC deal
Prenetics, a Hong Kong-based genetic testing startup, is going public through a merger with Artisan Acquisition — a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — in a deal that will value the combined entity at $1.7 billion, the two companies announced Thursday.
The Jack Ma-backed company hopes to generate up to $459 million in cash proceeds from the merger, which the company plans to spend on strategic acquisitions, geographical expansion, and research and development. The combined company is expected to be traded on the Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol PRE.
Sometimes called a blank-check company, SPAC is a shell company that has no operations but plans to go public with the intention of acquiring or merging with a company utilizing the proceeds of the SPAC’s initial public offering (IPO).
We wrote about Prenetics in 2018 after the 12-year old startup acquired the UK peer DNAFit to broaden consumer reach. DNAFit works directly with consumers, using their genetic information to help them achieve their health, fitness, and nutritional goals. The startup has grown exponentially since our last coverage three years ago. The company projects its 2021 revenue to triple year-on-year to $205 million and hit $600 million by 2025.
Founded in 2009 by Danny Yeung, Lawrence Tzang, and Michael M. Yang, Prenetics is a genetic and diagnostic health testing company that helps identify health risks with the use of DNA sequencing technology. One of its flagship products is Circle HealthPod, a rapid molecular detection system for all infectious diseases developed with technology from the University of Oxford.
Circle HealthPod detection system can be used to test for all infectious diseases including Covid-19. The company said it plans to start testing for Influenza and STDs in the near future. In approximately 20 minutes, you can receive PCR quality results directly on the HealthPod or on your smartphone.
In addition to providing diagnostic services, Prenetics also partners with insurance companies to provide genetic tests to policyholders. The company services are currently available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, with more country launches planned as part of its expansion. It claims to have processed 300,000 DNA samples so far.