Would You Invest in Theranos? Listen to Elizabeth Holmes’s Pitch
(Bloomberg) -- The jurors in the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes asked to review just one piece of evidence before convicting her of defrauding investors: A 30-minute recording of the Theranos Inc. founder pitching potential backers.
In the 2013 recording, which was submitted into evidence piecemeal, Holmes described Theranos’s relationships and contracts with pharmaceutical companies and the military. She touted her company’s leaps of technological innovation, rocketing share price and a closing window of investment opportunity.
The call was taped by Bryan Tolbert, an investor who said he boosted his stake in Theranos by $5 million because Holmes was so persuasive on the call. And while the government said some of her claims were extreme exaggerations and in some cases outright lies, the jury didn’t reach a verdict on the fraud count involving Tolbert, as well as two other counts.
Highlights of the call (with timestamps) include:
06:35 Holmes describes launching Theranos’s retail infrastructure with pharmaceutical companies and efforts to establish “a national footprint as fast as we can.”
11:19 Holmes talks about Theranos’s $7 billion valuation, and how the company is wrestling with how fast to scale given “retail partners have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building out this framework.”
14:00 Holmes talks about her fundraising goals, including offers from financial institutions for “several hundred million” in capital. She says she knows the company’s valuation is higher than $75 a share, and the importance of picking the right investor base.
17:20 Holmes answers a question about IPO plans, and talks about the advantages of continuing to operate as a private company.
- 19:19 Holmes talks about Theranos’s work with the U.S. military, saying it’s “a big deal for us”. She discusses getting Theranos’s technology onto medevac helicopters and “doing a lot of work” for special operations.
Note: a portion is missing at around 22 minutes 40 seconds when Tolbert flipped the tape over to keep recording.
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