- CBS “60 Minutes”
- Theranos, the embattled blood-testing startup that came under fire in 2015, may share a lot of similarities to other overhyped Silicon Valley startups that can’t always deliver on what they promise.
- But,Wall Street Journal investigative reporter and author of “Bad Blood” John Carreyrou told “60 Minutes,” there’s something that differentiates what Theranos did from those startups.
- It had to do with just how far its founder Elizabeth Holmes got based on technology that wasn’t ready. “She raised money, hundreds of millions of dollars, on the basis of this technology not only being ready and working but being commercially rolled out,” Carreyrou said.
When getting off the ground, startups often set goals they might not be able to hit.
Theranos, which promised blood tests that used a fraction of the blood traditional tests used, was no exception.
But what made Theranos different from other Silicon Valley companies that overpromised on what they could do was just how far its founder Elizabeth Holmes got based on technology that wasn’t ready for prime-time, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou told “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
“Because she raised money, hundreds of millions of dollars, on the basis of this technology not only being ready and working but being commercially rolled out. You’re also lying to the public. You’re lying to patients. You’re lying to doctors. You’re lying to regulators. Most people would call that fraud, as well,” Carreyrou said “60 Minutes.” Carreyrou was the reporter who broke the Theranos story wide open in 2015 and is the author of “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.”
Theranos at one point was valued at $9 billion, after raising more than $700 million from investors. For a time, the company operated blood-testing clinics in Arizona and California, resulting in voided blood tests and issuing “tens of thousands” of corrected blood tests. After settling with a federal regulatory agency, Theranos can start operating a clinical laboratory again in 2019.
Theranos in March reached a settlement with the SEC after being charged with fraud. As it faces setback in the lab over its Zika test, the company has laid off most of its employees and is pleading with investors for more cash.