HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C. FOUNDERS: Rick Kittles, Gina Paige (CEO) EMPLOYEES: 13
The at-home genetic-testing market has been on an upswing during the pandemic, helping boost business for African Ancestry. “There’s a Black pride renaissance happening as a result of injustices against Black people,” says Paige, 53. The 17-year-old company’s database, which contains some 33,000 indigenous African DNA samples, has been used by roughly 1 million people, including Oprah Winfrey (who shares DNA with the Kpelle people in Liberia) and the late Chadwick Boseman (who discovered ties to the Limba of Sierra Leone). Revenue has surged by two-thirds since March and should hit $8 million this year.