Can the data from our guts be turned into a useful health product?
That was the premise of two high-profile microbiome startups that shut down in recent months. To some researchers and investors, the failures suggested that it is simply too early to turn insights about the community of bacteria living in and on us into useful health products.
But some VCs continue to see the microbiome as a lucrative opportunity. Among their ranks are well-known individuals like Marc Benioff and Vinod Khosla, as well as the venture arms of health institutions like the Mayo Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, and Illumina.
Most of the companies they are backing have a focus on creating new therapies for tough-to-treat conditions like irritable bowel disease, diabetes, and even some cancers, according to data from CB Insights and PitchBook.
Take a look at the nine best-funded microbiome startups currently racing to turn insights from our guts into the next new blockbuster treatment.