NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ancestry.com announced last week that it has genotyped 400,000 members since launching its array-based autosomal DNA testing service, AncestryDNA, two years ago. The Provo, Utah-based online genealogy company most recently provided an update on the service in February, when it said it had genotyped 300,000 customers to date.
"With that scale and network effect, we've created a product that is really valuable to our existing subscribers while also providing new users a fast and easy way to start learning about their family history," Ancestry.com CEO Tim Sullivan said in a statement.
By increasing its database of genotyped members, AncestryDNA is able to deliver on one component of its offering: matching distant relatives. Ancestry.com said that it has identified more than 15 million cousin relationships since it rolled out AncestryDNA in May 2012.
AncestryDNA relies on a 700,000-marker Illumina BeadChip to genotype participants. In addition to its matching service, the company also provides customers with a biogeographical ancestry estimate based on 26 global regions.
The company also said that its growing database has enabled AncestryDNA to begin constructing a new genetic graph of the US population. It expects this genetic graph to become a "unique and valuable resource that will become the cornerstone of future product developments and differentiation for AncestryDNA in the market."
Ken Chahine, general manager of AncestryDNA, told BioArray News at the RootsTech conference in February that the firm expects its exponential growth rate to continue.
"I predict that we are at the very early part of the S curve," Chahine said at the time. "I think we are just getting past the early adopters, we are just barely going mainstream, and I don't think we have hit that massive inflection point," he said. "There is no question in my mind, that in a couple years, we could be sitting here talking about doing a million samples a year."