Two college dropouts plan to boldly walk in Theranos’s footsteps. Tanay Tandon, who left Stanford, and Deepika Bodapati, who bailed on USC, have raised $3.7 million from investors for their new at-home blood-testing company. The portable blood analyzer makes many of the same claims as Theranos, as it can allegedly run a complete blood-cell count from an at-home fingerprick test. As soon as they can prove their test results are legit (they have already submitted them to the FDA) they could start charging customers $20 a pop for the testing.
The founders are very aware of the skepticism any claims they make about their product will face after many investors were burned after the glorious rise and fall of Theranos. However, Theranos proved there was interest in the market, and Tandon and Bodapati claim they are learning from that former unicorn’s well-documented mistakes. For starters, they’ve proved their nerd cred right off the bat: They named their business Athelas, which, Bloomberg notes, comes from the healing plant in The Lord of the Rings. Read more over at Bloomberg.