The nation’s largest private equity firm is interested in buying your DNA data. The going rate: $261 per person. That appears to be what Blackstone, the $63 billion private equity giant, is willing to pay for genetic data controlled by one of the major companies gathering it from millions of customers.
Earlier this week, Blackstone announced it was paying $4.7 billion to acquire Ancestry.com, a pioneer in pop genetics that was launched in the 1990s to help people find out more about their family heritage.
Ancestry’s customers get an at-home DNA kit that they send back to the company. Ancestry then adds that DNA information to its database and sends its users a report about their likely family history. The company will also match you to other family members in its system, including distant cousins you may or may not want to hear from. And for up to $400 a year, you can continue to search Ancestry’s database to add to your knowledge of your family tree.
Ancestry has some information, mostly collected from public databases, on hundreds of millions of individuals. But its most valuable information is that of the people who have taken its DNA tests, which totals 18 million. And at Blackstone’s $4.7 billion purchase price that translates to just over $250 each.