Meet Silicon Valley’s Biggest Fraud, Elizabeth Holmes, Many Still Think She’s a Genius Ahead of Her Time
9Rise to fame
Soon, Holmes became a celebrity in Silicon Valley. She was asked to sign contracts with pharmaceutical companies and deliver TED Talks and other lectures. She appeared on the cover of Forbes and The New York Times. She kept inspiring people with her talk about a revolution coming in medicine.
By December 2004, Holmes had raised $6million for the company. By the end of 2010, Theranos owned over $92 million in venture capital. By 2014, Theranos was valued at $9.5 billion. In 2015, Forbes named Holmes the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America. All that would soon change.
The only indicator of Theranos’ success was what Holmes would claim in public. The company operated in stealth mode till 2013. There was no company website. The company would also not feature in press releases. For a long time, not a single person had actually seen a working prototype of the magical diagnostic device.
John Carreyrou began investigating Theranos after he received a tip from a medical expert who thought the diagnostic device was suspicious. Carreyrou investigated for several months. He spoke to ex-employee whistleblowers and got access to company documents. Upon finding out Holmes initiated legal action and threatened to sue Carreyrou, the Journal, and all the whistleblowers, but nothing could stop the journalist, who was out for Holmes’ blood.