Ancestry Launches AncestryHealth; Habito Releases FTB Product


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Ancestry launches AncestryHealth; Habito releases FTB product; and Ofo releases statement on financial difficulties.

Ancestry Launches AncestryHealth

Ancestry, one of the largest providers of direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, has launched its AncestryHealth range, designed to identify potential health risks through genes and family health history. The products are set to rival 23andMe, which launched its DTC health products two years ago, however unlike its rival Ancestry’s services are ordered in conjunction with physicians rather than online.

The AncestryHealth range encompasses two products: AncestryHealth Core, a one-time service, and AncestryHealth Plus, a subscription service using next-generation sequencing technology to identify more nuanced health risks which cannot be identified through simple genotype array testing. The DTC genetic testing market was estimated to be worth USD$831.5m (£650.3m) last year, and is set to undergo significant growth following a proliferation in available services, including new products from 23andMe, Color, and MyHeritage.

Habito releases FTB product


Habito has released Habito Go, a home-financing service catered towards first-time buyers (FTBs). The product has been designed to increase the negotiating power of FTBs by allowing them to leverage a ‘cash offer’, backed by financing from Habito Go, to assist in completion of the house purchase. The move comes two months after Habito received £5m of investment from Augmentum Fintech.

Announcing the new service, Habito Go founder and CEO Daniel Hegarty said, “All our research tells us that homebuying is riddled with uncertainty and a lack of control that most people just don’t feel equipped for, and first-time buyers probably have it the hardest. With Habito Go, we hope to alleviate this by arming buyers with the power of a cash offer for their dream home while giving sellers the reassurance of a guaranteed sale that is achievable in a fraction of the time normally required to complete a purchase.”

Ofo releases statement on financial difficulties


Troubled Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo has released a rare statement on its financial difficulties, with the firm’s spokesperson refuting reports that the company has borrowed over CN¥1.7bn (£187m). While the statement quotes the original source as one that “contained large amounts of false information”, no elaboration was provided. “For nearly a year, Ofo has been in well-known difficulties, but it has not given up. At present, we are making every attempt to resolve historical deposit problems and to continue to meet users’ bike-use needs as much as possible.”

In June, the China Securities Journal was quoted as saying that the bike-sharing startup had ‘basically no assets’, a far cry from the firm’s one-time valuation of over USD$2.2bn (£1.75bn).