Living DNA is a tiny UK company that has just launched its own ancestry DNA testing service, one that offers a ‘high definition’ view of their family history, versus the ‘standard resolution’ provided by their larger competitors. The company is up against a number of high-powered and well-financed competitors, including 23andme, Family Tree DNA, Quest Diagnostics, and AncestryDNA. Founder David Nicholson is confident that his company can succeed because it offers a different service from the services offered by his competitors.
Fueled by TV shows, such as Who Do You Think You Are?, the market for personal DNA testing services is growing rapidly, and in the UK, is dominated by a handful of multi-national companies. The startup was launched using profits from DNA Worldwide Group, a company set up by Nicholas in 2004 to fund the development of the personalised DNA testing service. That process took two years and a team of over 100 experts around the world. Living DNA aims to be profitable within 18 months.
David Nicholson says: “Setting up a personal DNA service is very hard, and the millions of dollars it would normally cost to achieve have been saved through the solid relationships we have built with key partners and academics. The likes of Ancestry.com, are big names to challenge, but Living DNA’s stance is that DNA can prove that each and every one of us worldwide are connected to one another.
“We are the first test that allows people to break down their British ancestry to any of 21 UK regions, and over 80 worldwide regions. Most other ancestry tests only typically going back four or five generations, so we are confident there will be a big demand for a test that provides the high-definition overview of people’s past.”
The Living DNA web site states:
“An ancestry DNA Test like no other
“Living DNA can show your family ancestry broken down across up to 80 worldwide regions – more than any other company. This means no matter where your ancestry is from you can take a Living DNA Ancestry test. It is also the only test which can break down British ancestry among 21 regions of the UK.
“In addition your direct motherline and direct fatherline ancestry is brought to life.
“Explore your ancestry at different points in history, and see how we are all made up of all of us.”
The company is based in Frome, Somerset, England and obviously is offering services of interest primarily to UK customers. A test kit costs £120.00.