Color has raised $167 million to scale up its testing services and broader health technology and infrastructure capabilities as it looks to expand offerings across the U.S.
The Series D financing round, which values the health technology company at $1.5 billion, follows a period in which the coronavirus pandemic has increased the need for testing and telehealth services.
Color has supported the response to COVID-19 with a self-swabbing kit designed for use at workplaces and universities. Now, it is looking to build a "national technology-based public health infrastructure" capable of providing healthcare services to large populations, including state and local governments, employers and schools.
Color began life focused on making genetic testing cheaper through its $249 test for genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. In 2018, Color raised $80 million to move beyond genetics and into other forms of preventative medicine. The latest financing round, which brings the total fundraising haul up to $278 million, positions Color to ratchet its ambitions up once again.
"We are building the rails for a national technology-based public health infrastructure," Color CEO Othman Laraki said in a statement. "By investing in the technology that ensures easy and affordable access to healthcare, we're creating the infrastructure that will serve us for decades to come."
Laraki's definition of public health extends beyond services funded by the government. Rather, the CEO includes governments, employers, schools and other stakeholders involved in the health of large numbers of people in his definition. Color wants to change how those stakeholders provide care for their populations.
The provision of testing and other healthcare services in homes and workplaces is central to Color's plan. COVID-19 has allowed Color to showcase its approach by increasing the need for testing and remote care. California uses Color's software in its COVID-19 testing program with PerkinElmer, which processes up to 150,000 tests daily. The health technology company claims its role in San Francisco's program has resulted in the nation's highest per-capita COVID-19 testing rates.
At some point, demand for COVID-19 testing may fall as states get the crisis under control. Color plans to support that process by moving into vaccine delivery and emerge from the crisis as a leading provider of preventative healthcare services.
Venture capital firm General Catalyst has bought into Color's vision, leading the series D round with the support of Viking Global Investors and funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. There are signs that Color is preparing to access public markets next. Notably, a clutch of new hires at Color includes Emily Reuter, who drove the IPO process at Uber during her six years at the company.