As sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have spread, particularly human papillomavirus (HPV), the population of people who should be tested also has spiked. Whether they are tested is another matter. The testing process has become easier and more discrete as a new company has launched a home test kit.
myLAB Box is a startup that offers these home tests as a system that takes only five minutes to use. The test is sent off to the company’s lab and takes one to five days to yield results. myLAB Box even offers free doctor consultations for those who want more details and advice.
According to tech research site CrunchBase, myLAB Box has raised almost no money — $560,000 in December 2016. By venture capital measures that does not even show on their radars. The money came from so-called angel investors, which are usually wealthy people of small funds who know the founders. Houston Angel Network, K5 Ventures, Pipeline Angels, Tech Coast and Texas Halo Fund put in the capital, with KS Ventures at the lead. This means that the company almost certainly was valued at only a few million.
Over 70% of Americans have HPV infection. Most of these cases cannot be detected by those who have it. HPV can cause a number of cancers. While some types of HPV are more likely to result in cancer, the lack of detection is even more dangerous
The test kits cost between $89 and $399. The test covers over 12 types of STD, including syphilis and herpes. Herpes is another common disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one of every six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
myLAB Box has received tremendous media coverage. The company has not said how many customers it has served or what its revenue and expenses are. However, it is in a business that could have millions of customers, simply based on the presence of these diseases in the population.