BOSTON, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston-based Embark Veterinary Inc., the world leader in dog genetics, announced today that it raised $10 million in Series A funding, a milestone that enables the young biotech company to build on its early consumer success and expand its research in canine health and genetic disease. Dog DNA has inherently fewer privacy concerns and dogs' faster generation times can lead researchers to a more rapid pace of discovery than possible in human genetic studies. Canine DNA research, historically underfunded, is now nipping at the heels of human genetics research, with Embark leading the pack.
"Owners want to know all about their dogs - not just the breed, but the genetic markers that can shed light on possible diseases they may face in the future," said Ryan Boyko, Embark's CEO and co-founder. "Embark provides that critical information with comprehensive and accurate testing that is unique in canine genetics. Some of the most common diseases found in dogs are genetic conditions - bladder stones, heart disease, and cancer can be traced genetically. This round of funding allows us to move faster to provide more information to existing customers while doubling down on research to ensure that all dogs live healthier lives." In 2018, Embark tripled its database, now numbering in the hundreds of thousands of canine DNA samples. It's the only canine DNA test that looks at the dog genome with as much resolution as human DNA tests look at the human genome. Embark plans to use the funding to expand its team, doubling in size over the next year.
This round of funding was led by F-Prime Capital, with participation from previous investors including Slow Ventures, Section 32, Third Kind Venture Capital, Freestyle Capital, FJ Labs, and Anne Wojciciki, CEO of 23andme.
"Embark has rapidly made significant strides in canine health," said Carl Byers, partner, F-Prime Capital. "They're a company founded by scientists who are combining scientific research principles with an easy-to-understand consumer interface that is changing the way we approach caring for our dogs." Embark's Dog DNA Test consistently ranks highest in the market for dog DNA tests and is also used by thousands of dog breeders to make informed breeding decisions.
Founded in 2015 by brothers Ryan and Adam Boyko, in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark uses a simple swab of a dog's mouth to test for more than 170 health conditions. Embark is the only canine genetics company that uses a research-grade DNA genotyping platform, similar to those that back human direct-to-consumer genetic tests. "We took the approach that dogs are cherished family members, and deserve the accuracy and health potential being created for people. So, we built a genetic test that provides accuracy and actionability for our customers. By doing this, we're creating a genetic database that can make key veterinary discoveries possible like never before. Our customers simultaneously improve the lives of their dogs today and every dog born in the future," said Ryan Boyko.
Embark Veterinary, Inc. launched in 2015 with a mission to end preventable disease in dogs. An Embark Dog DNA Test enables pet owners to learn about their dog's breed, ancestry, health, and what diseases may be in the future – all with a simple cheek swab. By using 100 times more genetic information than any other test available, the company offers the most accurate results on the market. Embark was started by two brothers, Adam and Ryan Boyko, who have a passion for scientific research and a lifelong love of dogs. Embark is an official research partner with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Embark is the official dog DNA test of the Westminster Kennel Club Show, National Geographic, and The WEEK.
SOURCE Embark Vet