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What's Behind 10x Genomics' Acquisition Strategy?

By Keith Speights - Apr 3, 2021 at 2:01PM

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The company starts with where the genomics world is headed and then works backward.

10x Genomics (TXG 6.83%) has gobbled up several smaller companies over the last year. These deals have extended the company's offerings and expanded its addressable market in some cases. In this video recorded on March 11, 2021, Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights talks with 10x Genomics CEO and co-founder Serge Saxonov about his company's acquisition strategy.

Keith Speights: Serge, I know 10x Genomics has made several acquisitions over the last year or so. I was wondering if you could speak to some of those and what made you interested in those particular companies?

Serge Saxonov: The way we think about acquisitions is in the context of our overall product development, the overall strategy. We don't go out trying to buy companies just to add revenue or to add scale.

The way we think about from first principles, we think very hard about where the world is going and where there is a need for exponential advances, big open problems, big trends, big needs that need addressing. Then we work backwards from there, what kind of technology would we need to develop to address this need in the future?

We make internal investments to build those tools, that's what we did with our initial Chromium platform back in the day. But we also recognize that we don't have a monopoly in smart people, there's all kinds of creative, really smart people working out there in the world and inventing things.

We keep scouting the world and also talk a lot to our customers, and this is a huge, huge thing. Our customers are incredibly smart, there's scientists out there that are also very future-looking. We see what's out there, which teams, either universities or companies, are making progress or building something that we can now see that could fulfill that need down the road.

That's our general strategy and framework for thinking about M&A, and then when it makes sense, we go out and we acquire those companies. The nice advantage that we have is that our product development is really robust and it can go from zero to a full complete product, and so we can take very early ideas, very early talented teams, and integrate them into our company and build awesome products from them.

That has been the story of our acquisitions so far. Clearly, as you grow larger, you can think more and more ambitiously in terms of the kinds of things you can pursue, and that has been also really helpful as we've scaled.

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