A private-equity firm bought Ancestry.com for $4.7B. Here’s what they might do with it.

Our insiders say Ancestry’s trove of DNA data is a huge moat.

August 7, 2020

The Blackstone Group is acquiring a 75% stake in Ancestry.com for $4.7B.

It’s a major move at a tricky moment

Two DNA-testing kingpins, Ancestry and 23andMe, laid off workers 

this year when consumer demand sagged. They kinda have the D2C mattress problem — a customer might buy one kit, but who needs two?

So we put the puzzle to our Trends community: Why is Blackstone going big on a DNA testing company?

Amanda Black, owner of The Solo Female Traveler Network, was unnerved: Just before hearing the news, she got a kit, used it, and returned it in the mail. “I thought it was weird how many times I was asked if they could keep my info and also told me they were going to be using my results,” she said. “This is interesting and uncomfortable.”

Here’s what others told us

Jon Khaykin from IPOs.fyi says the DNA/health data is a “huge moat” for Ancestry. By licensing it to a biopharma giant, “These companies could use the health information to research diseases as well as find and recruit research subjects.”

Chi Odogwu, co-founder, Odogwu Digital Media, says screening for predisposition to diseases could work like a Minority Report for healthcare. Another opportunity: “Marketing for customized fitness and health plans via subscription newsletters.”

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