Testing group raises $71m to help combat Covid-19

LetsGetChecked has blood and lab test for coronavirus with instant and 24-hour results

At-home testing company LetsGetChecked has raised $71 million (€65.4 million) in a funding round that will support the company’s move into testing for Covid-19.

The company, which has almost 250 employees and operates in Dublin and New York, has a two-part test for coronavirus, with a blood test it says will give immediate results about an active infection, and a lab test that will confirm the results within 24 hours.

The latest round of funding will help support that, increasing manufacturing, supply and testing for Covid-19, as well as scaling-up its laboratory capacity. The company also plans to expand supply and business operations, and support personnel across the United States and Europe.

The Series C funding is almost double LetsGetChecked’s funding to date. Prior to the announcement, the company had raised $43.7 million, including a $30 million round in May last year.


New investors

The latest round, which was oversubscribed, was led by Illumina Ventures and HLM Venture Partners. Founding partner at Illumina Ventures Nick Naclerio and Steven Tolle, partner at HLM Venture Partners, have joined LetsgetChecked's board. The funding round also attracted new investors including Deerfield, CommonFund Capital and Angeles Investments, while existing investors Transformation Capital, Optum Ventures and Qiming Venture Partners USA also participated.

“The company’s work has never been more important now that the world faces a global pandemic, forcing us all to re-evaluate how we obtain health and wellness services,” said Mr Naclerio. “LetsGetChecked is already having a profound impact on patient-led at-home healthcare, which is necessary now and will become increasingly common in the future.”

The company is hoping to play a significant role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In mid-March, it contacted health authorities in Ireland to offer its Covid-19 test to frontline healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers

“We are working hard to deliver Covid-19 testing to frontline and healthcare workers and want to be able to contribute to the overall solution in Ireland,”said founder Peter Foley. “We’ve written to the Minister for Health, alongside a number of frontline decision-makers, expressing our desire in this regard.”

It also planned to offer the testing in the US, where it has a high-complexity lab it established in 2019. The capacity of the LetsGetChecked US laboratory is being scaled up to carry out 10,000 tests daily, with plans to increase that to up to 100,000 tests per day.

Founded in 2015, LetsGetChecked has offered its private at-home screening model to more than 335,000 people in the past five years, with 13,500 infections and diseases detected.

Pricing for the tests start at about €50 each and usually only require a simple prick of the finger.

Although it began with sexual health tests, the company’s current list of tests includes men and women’s health, and diagnostics for vitamin levels, thyroid function and cortisol levels. The company has continued to offer its diagnostic tests to clients during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist