Etalon Inc, a unique bio and agritech company, announced a Series A financing led by Thomas Tull and Teton Ridge with participation from Vani Khosla, Signe Ostby, Dr. Charlie Buchanan, Dr. Russell Kerschmann, Christa Lafayette, Dr. Charlie Pinkham, Dr. John Quelch, Humberto Valverde, Erica W. Lundquist and Aaron Ganz, among others, bringing total funding to $18 million.

“Etalon is a unique and innovative product for the equine industry,” said Christa Lafayette, Etalon Founder and CEO.  “Using genetic diagnostics, a dash of ancestry and kinship, we can see our animals in a whole new way.  Information at this scale provides real, in-depth, ‘whole picture’ insight with actionable results; not just a surface view. Combining this technology with openly collaborative everyday horse owner know-how has put a whole new spin on ‘crowdsourcing’. The science alone is potent, but this combination is especially powerful.”

Using internal expertise alongside strong collaboration with veterinarians, top equestrians, and the everyday horse owner, rider, and enthusiast, Etalon has already developed industry-leading genetic discovery tools and an affordable, comprehensive set of user-friendly applications. These tools and applications, like Build-a-Horse, allow horse owners to understand the health, disposition, and strengths of their horse(s), turning once-complex genetic analysis into easy-to-understand, usable, and actionable data. Building on these concepts and technologies, Etalon is also developing genetic therapies for animals with the goal of reversing human-induced damage such as inbreeding and disease propagation resulting from fashionable breeding. These genetic therapies, advancements, and innovations will have positive implications for the horse as well as for humans and other mammals.

“Teton Ridge has invested in Etalon because it aligns with our mission of innovation within the equine industry,” said Thomas Tull, founder and chairman of Teton Ridge. “The science behind Etalon is an unprecedented advancement in equine genetics, using this technology and a proprietary platform to maximize suitability and ultimate performance.”

Etalon has world-renowned scientists on its Scientific Advisory Board, including population geneticist and entrepreneur Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D. (Cornell/Stanford University); equine genetics expert, author, and eventing rider Samantha Brooks, Ph.D. (Cornell/University of Florida); and genomics expert and business strategist Meredith Carpenter, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley/Cantata Bio).

As part of this next phase of growth, Etalon is dramatically accelerating hiring across the company’s computational biology, software engineering, clinical development, marketing, and genomics departments.  Primarily based in Menlo Park, California, Etalon will continue to build a mix of centralized and remote teams to maximize the diversity of hires and to reach the broadest set of talent. Careers at Etalon


Etalon was founded by biotech entrepreneur Christa Lafayette in partnership with world-renowned scientists and biotech experts such as Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D., Samantha Brooks, Ph.D., Meredith Carpenter, Ph.D., and Russell Kerschmann, M.D., along with top veterinarians Charlie Buchanan, DVM., Ben Buchanan, DVM., Beau Whitaker, DVM., Scott McClure, DVM., Duncan Peters., DVM., Kent Allen, DVM., Charlie Pinkham, DVM., and Phillippe Benoitt, DVM.  Etalon creates disruptive technologies for genetic discovery in mammals using the horse as a model species. The Etalon genetic marketplace and Build-a-Horse application is the first of its kind in the animal market. The team is known for strong collaborations with the horse owner and the equestrian community.

The company, which soft launched in 2016, is focused on developing radical new technologies and translational platforms to assist in the optimization of animal health and performance, with a strong focus on undoing the damage human selection has imposed on animal populations (inbreeding and disease, etc.) By leveraging the vast know-how of the horse owner, and combining that information with cutting-edge science, Etalon has introduced advanced genetic tools into the everyday barn and arena. Combining horse person knowledge with scientific prowess creates a “crowdsourced” discovery platform, accelerating genetic discovery and prediction at an extraordinary pace. The translation of these tools to the equestrian is providing unprecedented health and competitive advantages. Genetic translational applications also expand well beyond animals and have demonstrated use in the advancement of human health, food production solutions, risk reduction, and optimization of animal health and welfare. Please join us in the mission:

About Teton Ridge:
Teton Ridge is a multi-platform, wholly American-owned brand and media company devoted to the iconic American western way of life. Teton Ridge’s Sports division was created with the singular focus of elevating classic western sports and America’s western culture on the world stage, while broadening audiences around the globe as well as at home. For more information about Teton Ridge, please visit or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook.


Email comments or questions to [email protected]

Write A Comment