DNA Simple

dna simpleOliver Noel seeks a Shark’s help growing DNA Simple, his DNA sampling business that compensates donors, in Shark Tank episode 912. Noel started the business in 2015 as the issue of “bio-rights” began gaining traction. People who provide DNA samples for research are demanding more control over their personal information. DNA Simple compensates people who provide some basic information with a saliva sample.

Donors receive $50 per sample and know their DNA information is used for medical research. Compensation increases the likelihood of donors contributing to research efforts. DNA from such samples is in demand from drug companies, the government, and academic centers to use DNA data to create medical treatments. These samples are a potentially huge market with some people estimating an over 20 billion dollar market for this kind of data in just a few years.

A Better Deal

Noel wants to capitalize on this market by acting as a sort of middleman for DNA samples. Users sign up at their website and provide some basic medical information. Then, they search through a list of studies and apply for those they wish to donate to. If you’re accepted to a study, they send a saliva kit and $50. You provide the sample and get paid. Unlike other DNA companies, you don’t pay a charge for providing a sample. Many companies that provide users with DNA information retain the rights to sell your information to entities conducting studies; you – the provider of the data – have no control and receive no compensation. With DNA Simple, your information is kept private and is only used for the studies YOU choose to participate in.

The issue of bio-rights and DNA sampling is complicated, highly regulated and a growing area of research. Mr. Noel’s company puts the power in the donors’ hands and makes its money acting as a go-between. Donors provide samples, DNA Simple pays them, then they sell that data to the entity conducting the study. In a marketplace that is rapidly evolving, Noel hopes a Shark can help with managing growth and gaining market share.

Will a Shark donate some of their DNA to help this business explode?

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Posts About DNA Simple on Shark Tank Blog

DNASimple Helps you “Sell” Your DNA

DNA Simple Shark Tank Recap

Oliver enters seeking $100,000 for 12.5% of his business. He says there will be pandemics in our future and scientists will only be able to figure them out with DNA. He explains what he does and how the business works, then he sends out samples of his kits. The company makes $155 for a study match. The kits cost $12.50 and, of course, he pays the “customer” $50. So far, he’s matched 500 studies for sales of $30,000.

The Sharks are impressed by Oliver and his ability to intelligently answer all his questions. Richard offers $100,000 for 25% of the business. Mark jumps in and offers $100,000 for 20%. Oliver counters with 15% and Mark agrees.

DNA Simple Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Largely due to the exposure from Shark Tank, the company had 130,000 samples in its database at the end of 2017. This surpassed their goal of 100,000. By 2018, they hoped to have over 1 million samples. They also started accepting samples from Canada. With the 2020 pandemic, it was eerie to hear Noel practically predict it! As of November, 2021, the company is still in business and is valued at $1.3 million.

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