Once upon a time, Theranos was a promising biotech firm—raising $632 million from 2014-2015. In October 2015, everything changed when the Wall Street Journal published the first of its many exposés that revealed the company’s struggle to develop the blood-testing technology it promised.
The Journal’s stories ultimately led to the company’s very ugly public unravelling. A new report published on Monday reveals that Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of the Wall Street Journal’s parent company, invested $100 million in Theranos shortly before the paper published its first report.
Theranos, which is currently under criminal investigation, acquired much of its funding “from high-profile private investors who weren’t part of the ecosystem that typically backs startups and could see their stakes wiped out by the blood-testing company’s regulatory and technological troubles,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Communications conglomerate Cox Enterprises also invested $100 million in the company between 2014 and 2015. Walgreens is now suing Theranos for the $140 million it invested.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal also reported that another disgruntled Theranos investor, Silicon Valley pioneer Robert Colman, filed a lawsuit against Theranos for “making false and misleading claims about its operations and technology while soliciting money from investors.” The suit is seeking class action status.
Partner Fund Management LP, a San Francisco hedge fund filed a lawsuit, against the company in October, claiming “a series of lies, material misstatements, and omissions, [Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes] engaged in securities fraud and other violations by fraudulently inducing PFM to invest and maintain its investment in the company.”
At this point, you gotta ask yourself: How could it get worse for Theranos? Only the sweet passage of time will tell. [Wall Street Journal]