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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."

Some highlights:

  • 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.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Biden administration raises minimum wage for federal employees to $15

A poster demanding a federal $15-per-hour minimum wage seen near the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26, 2021. Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal agencies are being directed to raise the minimum wages for government employees to $15 an hour, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: The guidance will impact almost 70,000 federal employees, most of which work at the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Veterans Affairs. OMP is directing agencies to implement the new wage by Jan. 30.

35 mins ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.