An Interview with Naveen Jain, Chief Executive Officer, Viome
Naveen Jain is the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, BlueDot, Viome, Intelius, Talent Wise, and InfoSpace. He is a trustee of the X PRIZE Foundation where he is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions to address the global challenges in health, education, women empowerment, agriculture, and energy. Would you discuss your vision and mission for creating Viome? Our vision is to develop technologies to make illness elective. We plan to do it by understanding our body at a molecular level so we can use personalized diet and nutrition to keep our body balanced biochemically for optimal health. We will be able to find early predictive biomarkers for the diseases before any symptoms occur so we can stop the disease before it starts. We have an obsolete healthcare system that focuses on symptoms rather than root causes. Our bodies play host to trillions of microorganisms whose well-being dictates ours. This symbiotic ecosystem goes far beyond genetics; it goes to our gut. Our “gut list” is completely unique and has been invisible until now. Would you provide an overview of the services and solutions you offer? We are continuing to use 20th-century tools that were designed to fight infectious diseases to fight 21st-century diseases, which are chronic. The irony is that many of our 20th-century “cures” for infectious diseases actually cause chronic diseases. Viome’s state-of-the-art proprietary technologies offer unprecedented visibility into the ecosystem of our body to create a unique molecular profile. We just don’t identify and quantify the microorganism; we also analyze what they are actually doing. We then apply machine learning to this analysis and make personalized recommendations to balance the biochemistry and ecosystem inside us. What is your outlook for growth for the business? We are seeing an unprecedented demand for the Viome service. We have over 2,000 people on our wait list. In the first 48 hours after our launch, we already had approximately 200 paying customers who have signed up for the annual service. Our service costs $999 if paid upfront or a customer can pay $99 per month. More than one-third of the customers are actually opting to pay upfront for the whole year. We have several other revenue generating opportunities like selling prebiotics, probiotics, personalized food, and diagnosis of all the diseases since we already have unique signatures for all the known pathogens. Our high-quality longitudinal data along with predictive biomarkers will be our most important asset in the very short term. How critical is it for you to have investors with a long-term focus and commitment to the company? Viome has the potential to positively impact millions of people if not billions all around the world. We are very interested in partnering with investors focused on long-term commitment so that we can create a future where illness is optional by identifying predictive biomarkers for diseases before any symptoms may occur so they can be prevented. What are your key priorities for the business as you look to the future? We are focused on applying artificial intelligence to the massive amount of high resolution data to find predictive biomarkers for all the chronic diseases. We also need to expand quickly to international markets since the demand is massive.