Long before Theranos became the poster child for Silicon Valley hubris, it was just a promising young startup in search of investors. Axios has obtained a confidential pitch deck from June 2006, when the blood-testing company was seeking $30 million for what it referred to as a "pre-IPO transaction."
- Theranos says its accuracy is comparable to "gold standards"
- The business model seems to have been aimed at clinical and preclinical trials for pharma companies, rather than at broader consumer market.
- Early investors included Victor Palmieri, a financier who helped sell Donald Trump what would become the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Theranos would raise the money, and just two years later would be valued by investors at $9 billion. Since then, however, it's been almost all downhill. The first crack appeared in October 2015, when the Wall Street Journal reported that Theranos was not actually using its own technology to conduct most of its own blood tests. Subsequent stories would question the accuracy of Theranos blood tests, conditions of its labs and what it told business partners like Walgreens (which is currently suing the company for breach of contract). Federal regulators also would step in, ultimately banning Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from owning or operating a blood-testing lab.
But Theranos does still have at least one big defender in Tim Draper, who was one of the company's earliest investors. Here's his interview with Axios.