Bono Invests in Cancer Testing Startup Color Genomics

Bono - Getty - H 2016
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Bono - Getty - H 2016

The company has raised $45 million led by General Catalyst.

U2 frontman Bono is among a group of investors backing health-care startup Color Genomics

The company, which has developed a test to detect genes associated with common forms of hereditary cancer, has raised a $45 million round of funding led by General Catalyst with participation from Bono and existing investors including Susan L. Wagner, 8VC, Khosla Ventures and Emerson Collective. 

Color co-founder and CEO Elad Gil said the round will be put toward providing more access to its Color Test and building open databases to help further research and development around major diseases. "We're in the middle of one of the greatest shifts seen in health," he said. "Increased access to genetic information is enabling doctors and their patients to create personalized plans for better prevention, detection and treatment of hereditary disease." 

Color, which has raised $60 million since it launched in 2015, also is adding Wagner, the former vice chair of BlackRock, and Hemant Taneja, managing director at General Catalyst, to its board. "Sue and Hemant are both pioneers in their respective industries," said Othman Laraki, Color co-founder and president. "Sue's strong experience in finance and building a global business will be of great value to Color as we continue to grow. Hemant's extensive experience in investments across healthcare and diagnostics as well as enterprise technology mirrors Color's foundation of intersecting medical information with computer science and machine learning." 

Color currently offers a $249 saliva test kit that detects genes that are connected to a higher risk of eight types of cancers, including breast, colorectal, melanoma, ovarian and prostate cancers.