uBiome was one of the top five incubations that emerged from the Bay Area. During its first year, the company raised $83 million, and as of January this year, it had raised about $109 million.
In April, uBiome faced allegations of illegal billing practices. Later, there was a thorough raid from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at uBiome’s San Francisco headquarters involving the confiscation of all billings and lab equipment. After the raid, the Chief Executive Officers of the company, Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, were put on leave and the company’s general counsel, John Rakow was temporarily put in charge. However, after a few months he, along with the two Chief Executive Officers resigned.
2. About the Company:
uBiome was founded in 2012. It is the leading microbial genomics company that allows its clients to learn about microbiome with “unprecedented accuracy and speed.” uBiome mainly has four products that it offers to its customers, SmartGut, Smartjane, Explorer, and Explorer Plus.
3. Filing for Bankruptcy:
Five months after the FBI raid, uBiome has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the comments from the acting Chief Executive Officer along with the board of directors that the company would be better off with new ownership; The terms of which will be disclosed within a couple of months and that it is being finalized with several interested parties.
With the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company holds the right to preserve its assets and to meet the needs of its new and old customers. Along with this, the company would search for new ownership. These steps were taken by the mutual decision of the board to directors to ensure that the companies assets remain safe, and the company tends to be stable.
From the four primary products, the company is offering its ‘Explorer’ product only; the Explorer product helps the consumers to understand how the lifestyle and food intake helps the person in Gut wellness. The company would maintain the appropriate staff for the usage of the Explorer product. However, they did not mention any details about the other products.
4. Steps were taken for stability:
uBiome intends to increase its partnerships commercially, academically, and in research as well. The company didn’t announce any new owners as of yet, but they are looking into several potential buyers and keeping insight all the factors necessary for better stability and that the company’s stakeholders and creditors get maximum benefit.
During the Chapter 11 procedure, uBiome tends to obtain financing from the Silicon valley bank and from 8VC.
So as of now, the company tends to sell one product of its four primary ones and limit the staff while they search for new potential investors. The company had a great venture in the start but had a great struggle in the past few months. They will hopefully get out of this and again reach new heights under new ownership.
A biotechnology and sci fi nerd, that enjoys writing about new innovations within the science world and industry.