Everything we know about uBiome, the startup that convinced Silicon Valley that testing poop was worth $600 million, and then saw its top leaders depart amid an FBI investigation

ubiome 3

  • uBiome was founded in 2012 on the promise of helping ordinary people understand the bacteria living in and on them, known as their microbiome.
  • The company eventually raised $105 million from investors and reached a valuation of $600 million.
  • In late April, the FBI searched uBiome’s office as part of an investigation.
  • By the end of June, the company’s top leadership and many of its board members had departed.
  • Business Insider reports regularly on the latest developments at uBiome. You can read our stories by subscribing to BI Prime.

The Silicon Valley startup uBiome was founded in 2012, on the promise of helping ordinary people understand the bacteria living in and on them, known as their microbiome.

The company morphed from citizen science project to venture-backed startup, taking in $105 million from investors and reaching a valuation of $600 million.

Then the troubles began. The FBI raided the company in April, reportedly as part of an investigation into the startup’s billing practices. By the end of June, the company’s top leadership and many of its board members had departed.

Read more: uBiome convinced Silicon Valley that testing poop was worth $600 million. Then the FBI came knocking. Here’s the inside story.

Here’s everything we know about what’s going on at uBiome.

The inside story

  • uBiome convinced Silicon Valley that testing poop was worth $600 million. Then the FBI came knocking. Here’s the inside story.
  • Embattled $600 million poop-testing startup uBiome once partnered with Nurx, a birth control company at the center of a New York Times exposé
  • uBiome’s founder repeatedly presented herself as years younger than she was, in the latest sign of trouble at the embattled $600 million poop-testing startup
  • Here’s the letter the $600 million healthcare startup uBiome sent to reassure investors after it was raided by the FBI
  • Silicon Valley startup uBiome raised $105 million on the promise of exploring a ‘forgotten organ.’ After an FBI raid, ex-employees say it cut corners in its quest for growth.

Leadership exits

  • All of uBiome’s top execs are out at the embattled poop-testing startup that’s at the center of an FBI investigation
  • UBiome’s independent directors are ditching the healthcare startup following an FBI raid, and now there’s only 1 left
  • A microbiome-testing company that has raised $105 million has suspended its two main tests and put its co-CEOs on leave following an FBI raid

Science and poop tests

  • A renowned Harvard geneticist and MacArthur ‘genius’ were among the 75 scientist advisers for embattled $600 million poop-testing startup uBiome. But ‘they were pretty much there for show.’
  • I tried a test from troubled poop-testing startup uBiome that let me peek inside a ‘forgotten organ.’ Here’s what I learned.
  • A startup that’s helping us better understand the bugs that live in us just raised $83 million to start developing treatments for diseases like cancer

Complaints and probes

  • UBiome’s board just tapped a former federal prosecutor to run an internal investigation after the FBI raided the $600 million Silicon Valley startup
  • Customer complaints show $600 million health startup uBiome has been surprising patients and insurers with bills for years
  • The FBI reportedly just raided microbiome-testing startup uBiome as part of an investigation into improper billing

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