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With $8.7 Million in Series A Funding, Sun Genomics Plans to Scale

Sun Genomics Inc., a San Diego company specializing in gut health, closed an $8.65 million series A round, announcing the news on June 29.

The funds were “tough to raise” in the current environment, said CEO and founder Suneer “Sunny” Jain.

Pangaea Ventures of Vancouver, British Columbia and Phoenix, Arizona, led the round. Danone Manifesto Ventures, SOSV, Human Longevity and Nascita Ventures also participated.

Sun Genomics offers the Floré microbiome test and gut probiotics solution, offering it directly to customers and through retail stores.

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After receiving a customer’s stool sample by mail, the business analyzes that customer’s gut composition, taking note of which microbes are well represented and which are not. Based on the data, Sun Genomics creates a custom probiotic to fortify the customer’s gut.

The business is hoping to create repeat customers.

Sun Genomics said it plans to use its new funds to support growth in the custom probiotics market, scale delivery across the United States and enter international markets. It also plans to publish medical studies in partnership with academic institutions.

With knowledge that the funding was coming through, Jain said he made four new hires, bringing headcount up to 14 people. Sun Genomics is interviewing for a vice president of growth.

Probiotics are offered in a subscription service. The business has thousands of subscribers at the moment, the CEO said, and hopes to scale to tens of thousands in the coming year or two.

‘Wall of Confusion’

Jain witnessed the sequencing of the human genome in 2009, and worked for seven years at Illumina. He tells a story of trying to find probiotics for his infant son, who was experiencing gastrointestinal issues. At the drugstore, he encountered what he calls a “wall of confusion.” Despite having a microbiology degree, Jain said he couldn’t evaluate the claims on the labels, or decide what to buy. The experience of being a dad trying to help his son started him on the road to entrepreneurship, to creating a business offering custom probiotics.

He founded Sun Genomics in 2016 and received seed funding in October 2019. The latest funding round brings the total investment to $11.75 million.

Sun Genomics took part in a biotech business accelerator in San Francisco. Since its founding, it has mostly sold its product in the California market. With the new funding, Jain said he wants to branch out to the Midwest and East Coast. With proper guidance, he’s also looking overseas.

With the series A funding, Chris Erickson, founding general partner at Pangaea Ventures, took a seat on the Sun Genomics board.

Whole-Genome Sequencing

Floré utilizes whole-genome sequencing to evaluate different digestive system data points and ensure that customers receive a completely personalized product that is based on their unique gut profiles.

The company also offers Floré Tots, which is available for children up to age 12 and comes in an easily digested powder to mix with their favorite drink.

Sun Genomics says the global human microbiome market is expected to reach $1.4 billion this year. Seventy million Americans experience digestive health issues every year, Jain said.

The business has 4,000 square feet of space.

As for stool samples, Jain takes a microbiologist’s view: if not beautiful, stool is packed with an amazing amount of information, an uncountable number of cells and thousands of species.

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