BioCertica, a South African genetics startup, has raised $1.6 million in a seed round.


Following a $650 000 pre-seed investment, BioCertica has raised a $1.6 million seed round, claiming to be the first African direct-to-consumer genetics company to employ polygenic risk score (PRS) to give DNA test results.

PRS results, according to BioCertica, allow the company to give clients substantially higher resolution DNA results than previously available on the market. It improves the accuracy of diagnosing genetic susceptibility to disorders such as hypertension, gluten sensitivity, obesity, and heart disease, as well as determining an individual’s genetic propensity toward optimal vitamin D, cholesterol, and sleeping habits.

“This technological innovation will enable African healthcare practitioners to obtain a greater understanding of their patients’ DNA via the BioCertica Practitioners Platform. This contributes to the advancement of preventative care and precision medicine,” stated Gert van Wyk, founder, and CEO of BioCertica.

BioCertica is a genetic testing platform that was released in 2020 to prioritize user privacy. It uses a purpose-built app that is available in all major app stores to provide a user’s tailored genetic results.

The pre-seed round’s major investor and technology partner, the Ministry of Programming (MOP), created and built bespoke genetic pipelines geared to the African market. MOP had previously been included on the Financial Times’ FT1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

“At BioCertica, we think that prevention is preferable to cure; by utilizing Bio-Fintech tools, we empower our clients to make more informed lifestyle and health-related decisions daily. Meanwhile, our technological ecosystem safeguards our consumers’ privacy with bank-grade security standards and encryption,” said Van Wyk.

BioCertica currently offers several lifestyle-based DNA test kits for a variety of purposes, including nutrition and well-being, ancestry, fitness, weight management, cardiovascular health, skincare, and mental health, among others.

“It gives value to people of all ages by equipping them with the knowledge necessary to live a better lifestyle. BioCertica offers a variety of collaboration opportunities, “Van Wyk concluded.