South African Startups Pursue African DNA Sequencing Opportunities


July 11, 2022, 2:12 p.m.

Africa has seen an emergence of genetics sequencing and DNA ancestry solutions tailored for people of African origin. While the continent is still behind in this technology relative to Europe and North America, South Africa seems to be taking the lead in providing DNA ancestry solutions for Africans. Genetics and DNA ancestry health techs often come in the form of direct-to-consumer web platforms that leverage genetics editing and sequencing technologies to offer personalized health solutions for consumers. Some services offered include ancestry reports, nutritional guidance, and medical risk evaluations to detect and diagnose genetic conditions that might lead to chronic diseases. Paternity and lineage testing focused on African ancestry are also offered. Here are 5 profiled on Global Finder Africa:


Launched in Paarl, South Africa in 2019, BioCertica is a biotechnology company that combines advanced genetic testing and encryption technology to unlock, interpret and protect DNA. The company's mission is to create Africa’s first digital biobank, where a range of DNA tests will unlock genetic information and translate it into actionable results that empower Africans to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. The range of products includes bio tests and DNA sequencing across different health sectors, such as mental health, wellness, and nutrition, genetic traits, cardiovascular health, fitness tests as well as consultations with experts for proper interpretation of results.


Evity launched in both the Netherlands and Cape Town, South Africa in 2020. It is still in the Customer Development phase, with R&D being done in Cape Town. The platform combines DNA and genetics data, fitness app data as well as physical measurables through an AI-based digital twin to improve health and combat aging by accurately predicting conditions such as inflammation and back pain, enabling users to find what actions could help them improve their quality of life.

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EasyDNA Group

EasyDNA group launched its South African office in Johannesburg in 2009. Since then, EasyDNA South Africa specializes in offering Genetic Identification and profiling services to both the private and public sectors across the country. The broad portfolio of DNA tests offered includes relationship testing (amongst which X chromosome testing, Y chromosome testing, and grandparent's testing) as well as ancestry testing, genetic health tests, and forensic testing services. The services are also available online to all African countries, couriered through a partnership with TakeALot.


Be Happy To Be You (BH2BU) was launched in 2017, which is a product of the parent company Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research in Cape Town, South Africa. The center offers genomic science that is availed and made accessible in Africa in an affordable manner. It combines genomic and proteomic ('omics'​) technologies with bio-computational pipelines to render services and support projects in the life science and biomedical arena in South Africa and the rest of the continent. BH2BU also offers Gene and DNA editing solutions such as Ancestry Test Kits and Ancestry Reports for those who already have DNA Genotype Data.


Launched in 2007, DNAlysis is a South African genetic testing laboratory. DNAlysis offers patients personalized treatments based on their genetic makeup. Some of the service offerings include DNA Fit, which helps users optimize their sporting performance, DNA Health which optimizes nutritional needs for better health, and DNA Diet which helps with weight management solutions.


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