Incubation and early-stage venture capital investment firm IncuCapital, a group company of the BSE-listed private equity player IndiaCo Ventures Ltd, has invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based genetic diagnostics and research startup Navigene Genetic Science Pvt Ltd. Although the deal value cannot be immediately ascertained, some of the recent investments by IncuCapital have been in the range of Rs 40-50 lakh ($90,000).
As part of the investment, IncuCapital’s senior venture partner Surojit Nandy will join the board of Navigene.
Co-founded by Rishi Dixit earlier this year, Navigene focuses on diagnosing genetic medical conditions and recommending preventive care for the same. It currently caters to the new-born screening segment where new-born babies are checked for more than 100 genetic disorders right after birth. The company also plans to offer more direct-to-home genetic screening tests aimed at children and adults, as well as clinically referred diagnostic services. For this purpose, Navigene is already running a laboratory in Mumbai and will further launch services in more than 15 cities through partnerships with hospitals and clinics.
“There is an incredible scope of genetic diagnosis in terms of reach, usage and advanced portfolio of customised tests. These tests were considered niche till now, but we intend to deliver these tests across India in the most affordable way,” said Dixit.
IncuCapital is also a co-founder and partner of Navigene, and has been associated with the firm right from the ideation stage. According to the investment firm, “Genetic science is the next revolution and unlocking the genetic knowledge will bring enormous benefit to the healthcare industry. Navigene is into its first year of operation and hence, the focus for the first few years will be to stabilise the operations, deliver the services pan-India and bring in a few more customised diagnostic services.”
In May this year, IncuCapital invested Rs 40 lakh in F&B chain Steammo. Earlier in January, it invested in Ghaziabad-based Loginworks Softwares, a software development firm started in 2006 by Dheeraj Juneja. Other portfolio companies include EduAlert, PropertyPartners and Reddvise.
Diagnostics is coming up as an attractive area of interest for VC firms with Norwest Venture Partners investing in Thyrocare and Sequoia backing Suburban Diagnostics.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)