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How 10x Genomics Got Started

By Keith Speights - Apr 2, 2021 at 9:03AM

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It began with some big biological questions.

10x Genomics (TXG 5.37%) has come a long way since opening its doors in 2012. The genomics company now has a market cap of close to $20 billion. In this video recorded on March 11, 2021, Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights talks with 10x Genomics CEO and co-founder Serge Saxonov about how the pioneering company got started.

Keith Speights: You're one of the co-founders of 10x Genomics, and I was just curious, what prompted you to start the company? Did you see the need while you were at 23andMe or how did you get to the point of saying, "We need to start a new business to meet this need?"

Serge Saxonov: It's a confluence of multiple imperatives I think that had been building up in my mind over time. But there's definitely a path that links back to 23andMe because one of the things, when I was there, what you often run into is you can measure the genome, but interpreting it and actually understanding what it means is the big challenge.

There's like big open questions in biology that have been on my mind and on a lot of people's minds. When you look back 10 years ago and really solving a large variety of problems, you just felt like there is an imperative, and we need fundamentally better tools to be able to measure the biology at that level, which ultimately is what led, at least at the high level, to start the company.

Now there's personal reasons as well. I had a great co-founder who we worked with previously together at the previous company, whose expertise is very complementary to mine. We had ideas around where the world was going, what the world needed, and we came together at the coffee shop literally in San Francisco talking about different ideas and came up with different technology concepts that could help us address where we see the world was going. The kinds of problems that the world is going to need to solve in the future.

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