$9 billion valued Silicon Valley (SV) startup Theranos founded and led by youngest ever self-made billionaire Elizabeth Holmes may have lost some of its appeal after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote Theranos “has struggled with its blood-test technology.”
According to a complaint to regulators quoted by the WSJ, one Theranos employee accused the company of being in violation of federal rules for laboratories because it failed to “report test results that raised questions about the precision of the Edison system.” If such allegation proved true, then the “woman who invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood” could have exaggerated her startup’s achievements.
Theranos dismissed the WSJ’s article as “factually and scientifically erroneous and grounded in baseless assertions,” and affirmed that “the sources relied on in the article were never in a position to understand Theranos’ technology.”
Other people thus took advantage of Theranos’ words to question the relevance of having former top government officials like Henry Kissinger, George P. Schultz or William J. Perry at the board of directors of such advanced health technology company. Now, investors demand answers, not complaints.
On June 2, 2016, US Forbes magazine revised estimated net worth of Holmes from USD 4.5 Billion to zero. “Theranos has been hit with allegations that its tests are inaccurate and is being investigated by an alphabet soup of federal agencies,” wrote Forbes, also mentioning new data showing Theranos’ annual revenues could be less than USD 100 million.
A previous version of this article was first published on October 16, 2015.