Seattle-based startup Arivale, which aimed to use biomarker and genomics testing to inform personalized health coaching, has been shut down after failing to find a sustainable business model.
The company, which was founded in 2014 by a team including genetics pioneer Leroy Hood, raised more than $50 million over its existence from investors including Maveron, Polaris Partners and ARCH Venture Partners.
Arivale offered various assays like genomic testing, blood analysis and microbiome analysis that would help the company’s health coaches give nutrition and wellness recommendations.
At the time of its closure, Arivale’s prices ranged from $99 a month for pure health coaching to services $199 for its data-informed data approach that into account 3,000 genetic variants and 40 blood markers.
In a message posted on Arivale’s website, the company said its decision to shut down was “attributable to the simple fact that the cost of providing the service exceeds what our customers can pay for it.”
Arivale went onto explain that the cost of the tests necessary to inform its health coaching services meant that its direct-to-consumer approach was unsustainable.
Other companies, like 23andMe have sought to build their business models around lucrative existing markets like drug discovery, leveraging the data assets gained through direct-to-consumer testing.
Earlier this year, Arivale embarked on research partnerships seemingly meant to pivot towards this path, but it appears that the move was too little, too late.
After a fair amount initial hype, the so-called quantitative wellness space in which Arivale operated has struggled in recent years and drawn skepticism from both clinicians and the media about its value and scientific validity.
One of the company’s early competitors, San Diego-based Human Longevity Inc. lost its unicorn status last year as it saw its valuation decline 80 percent from its peak. Other competitors like RetroFit and WellnessFx have been acquired by larger companies looking to bolster their platforms with personalized wellness and weight loss offerings.
Which is not to say investor interest has completely died out. EverlyWell, a direct-to-consumer testing company, just raised a $50 million financing round to widen access to its array of health tests.
Seattle-based Viome also announced a $25 million fundraise earlier this month to support the growth of its microbiome analysis service.
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