Theranos is Finally Dead

The rollercoaster of a ride for Theranos is finally over, as the infamous company shuts down as reported by CNBC:

Founded in 2004, Theranos was once a darling of the health and technology industries, raising more than $700 million from investors...Troubled blood-testing startup Theranos is officially dissolving.

In summary, Theranos was a blood testing company which claimed to have created remarkably revolutionary techniques in which only a single drop of blood was needed to diagnose conditions-but it was revealed that Theranos did not possess such technology, and investors lost nearly a billion dollars after the company collapsed.

As someone who grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley, I feel strongly about this case, one which detailed the darker sides of entrepreneurship fever which currently is still going strong. Ethics and integrity must never be forgotten in the pursuit of an investor's money, and as a female I am dismayed because Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos could have actually become the true "unicorn company" of SV - and she a female entrepreneur I could look up to. Obviously things didn't turn out that way.

WSO Community:

What are your opinions on Theranos, and do you know anybody who had invested in Theranos?

Comments (25)

Most Helpful
Sep 8, 2018 - 3:57pm

Here's what I've noticed, not just about Theranos. Female CEOs who are successful are good at their job and focus on performance and results. Female CEOs who are unsuccessful blabber every 5 seconds on the media about how they're a woman CEO and spend more time chasing after book deals or making speaking tours about "OMG inspiring woman CEO" than actually running their company.

Holmes is a bit different in that she's just a sociopath.

Sep 11, 2018 - 11:52am

Absolute sociopath, and I made that decision when I saw that blank stare for the first time. I find her voice unsettling as well. I don't know how you can watch her interviews and not immediately think scam. Holmes reminds me of Hilary Clinton except with less personality.

Array

  • 1
Funniest
Sep 11, 2018 - 8:20am

Fucked up to be giving Avengers 4 spoilers like that in the title

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 16
Sep 11, 2018 - 8:55am

Don't know a whole lot about this story but it sounds like another tell-tale story of why conducting proper due diligence is so important for investors.
It's unfortunate that this happened but there will always be occasional bad apples.

Was it short sellers in the end that called out this company for its fraud and helped bring it down?

STONKS
  • 1
Sep 11, 2018 - 9:32am

Actually, it was the FDA which first noticed a few things were not right, then the WSJ came out with allegations, after which it was just a landslide in which the grim reality came to surface. A critical part of this was a man named Tyler Shultz, who was the main whistleblower regarding defects in the tech. (he worked there from 2013-2014).

Sep 11, 2018 - 9:35am

As far as due diligence goes not sure what investors could have done. From what I have read, the company was telling its customers that it is using the proprietary blood testing tech when in reality it was outsourcing it to traditional clinics. This bitch is infinitely more evil than say Shkreli in my views. Not sure what kind of punishment is enough for a case like this.

Sep 11, 2018 - 9:43am

There was a company with comparable tech, that was FDA approved, but with a significantly lower valuation. This was hype train because the founder/CEO was a young woman with an interesting story.

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
  • 2
Sep 11, 2018 - 11:56am

Dude, go read about the level of deception Theranos pulled on investors. They faked "live" blood tests. The COO or whatever even had an app on his phone that would secretly stall the "revolutionary" testing device during presentations they gave to investors so they would have time to make the switcheroo.

Array

  • 2
Sep 11, 2018 - 3:11pm

Ask anyone in the Bay if anything has changed with due diligence. Money is being thrown around at any half baked idea because so and so angel/fund invested and because a target had an impressive sounding team. A Theranos event will happen again.

Sep 11, 2018 - 6:18pm

I don't have that many thoughts on Theranos. It's good that it's dead now, whatever. I was never that good at biology and even I thought that whole 'one drop of blood' thing didn't sound right.

I'm curious as to how her gender might've played a role in this. Was there less scrutiny given that people were so hopeful about her? If a man had been head of Theranos, would this have gone on as long?

Sep 11, 2018 - 11:35pm

admittedly, i haven't followed the story that closely, but given the above, why is she still not behind bars?

Array

Sep 13, 2018 - 11:10am

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 4, 2022 - 12:25am

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