Elizabeth Holmes, the once celebrated founder of Theranos, sat at number one on Forbes list of richest self-made women last year but has taken quite the tumble – the media outlet has since revalued her net worth to zilch.
Holmes, 31, comes from a family with powerful political connections – both parents held important government positions in Washington – which helped her get her start and Holmes was reportedly worth $4.5 billion in stock for her blood analysis company.
But her startup, once valued at more than $9 billion for its proprietary technology, hit a series of business failures and is now under investigation by several federal agencies and faces possible criminal charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Forbes now places the company’s value at closer to $800 million after speaking to analysts and has since removed Holmes from its prestigious list.
Holmes owns a 50 percent stake in Theranos, but the new valuation, which takes into account both the intellectual property and the $724 million in financing, gives Holmes a tiny fraction of her former net worth.
Theranos has declined to share confidential financial information.
“As a privately held company, we declined to share confidential information with Forbes,” Theranos spokesperson Brooke Buchanan told TechCrunch. “As a result, the article was based exclusively on speculation and press reports.”
Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start her company in 2003 at the age of 19. She launched it out of stealth more than 10 years later, with backing from DFJ, Henry Kissinger, and others but came under scrutiny after several damning investigative pieces in the Wall Street Journal.
The company now faces charges from the SEC and federal regulators could revoke its operating license or oust Holmes if Theranos fails to adhere to certain terms.