Halcyon Molecular, a much-talked about genetics startup that was started by Andregg Brothers – William and Michael in 2008 has quietly gone away. It is not clear if the company has shut down – the web site exists – but sources familiar with the Redwood City, Calif.-based company say that it ran out of money. Its investors included Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund and maverick investor/entrepreneur Elon Musk. In its life, the company had snagged upwards of $20 million in funding. I am awaiting comment from Founders Found and Musk.
It is a bit of a bummer since I always root for such startups whose foundation is pure technology and whose ambition to change the future. In 2009, when Founders Fund partner Luke Nosek joined Halcyon, in an email he noted that the company would one day it would be able to “sequence 100 percent complete human genome in less than ten minutes for less that $100.”
Earlier this year Oxford Nanopore team had beaten Halcyon to the punch. It was one of the companies that was working on low cost DNA sequencing technologies and it is one of the reasons why I kept tabs on the company. The company listing recently went missing on the Founders Found website. Here is an article from The Independent from last year that highlights company’s plans and ambitions – it is worth reading.