Item: A uBiome SmartFlu kit

Acquired by the RIAV: 2021

It's a tale as old as time: boy meets girl, boy and girl crowdfund a company together and pretend not to be dating, boy and girl raise almost $100 million to test the gut biome, boy and girl get raided by the FBI, married, and then become fugitives in Germany.

Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte were the cofounders of uBiome, which was a company in the business of testing your microbiome via poop samples (cool) and defrauding insurance companies (only cool in some circles.)

Unlike Theranos, which also featured secretly dating execs and a medical device, it seems like uBiome's product might have actually worked? But despite its short term promise, duping doctors into ordering tests and lying about it to investors turned out to be an ineffective strategy for long-term growth.

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