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In 2016, after allegations of fraud surfaced, Forbes revised its estimate of Elizabeth Holmes net worth to zero.
Although experts believed her net worth at the time was likely around $800 million, she only owned half of Theranos and had many investors to repay, which forced down their valuations for each entrepreneur.
Who is Elizabeth Holmes?
Elizabeth Holmes began her career way back in 2003 when she dropped out of college and used her tuition to fund a new company called Theranos. However, the original name of the company was Real-Time Cures, which was later changed to Theranos.
Holmes was inspired to create this company by her fear of needles. She wanted to revolutionize the entire system of blood testing, using only a small amount of blood.
Elizabeth Holmes also became famous for dressing up as Steve Jobs as she was a big fan of him. In 2004, she raised $6 million in company funds. By 2010, the amount had grown to 92 million dollars. In 2015, Forbes listed the company with a total valuation of $9 billion.
Elizabeth Holmes became the richest self-made female billionaire of that time with her then net worth. Although in the same year there were reports about the company’s potential fraud with its investors. In 2018, she was accused of defrauding investors through fraud on a large scale.
Elizabeth Holmes Early Life
Elizabeth Holmes was born in 1984 in Washington, DC. Her mother, Noelle, worked on a congressional committee, and her father, Christian, was a vice president of the energy company Enron.
After the fraud scandal of this company and subsequent bankruptcy, he held senior positions in various government institutions. In her youth, Holmes attended St. John’s School in Houston, Texas, where she studied computer programming.
She also studied Chinese at home and attended Stanford University’s Chinese language program in the summer. Holmes then enrolled at Stanford to major in chemical engineering while simultaneously working as a research student and laboratory assistant.
After finishing her first year, she worked in the laboratory of the Singapore Genome Institute, where she tested blood samples for SARS-CoV-1.
In 2003, Holmes filed her first patent application for a drug delivery patch; she dropped out of Stanford the following year to pursue a career in health technology.
Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, DC. Her mom, Noelle, was a congressional committee staffer, while her dad, Christian, was a vice president at energy giant Enron before moving on to government jobs at agencies like USAID.
When she was a child, Holmes and her family moved from Washington, DC to Houston, Texas. Even at an early age, Holmes had an instinct for invention, often filling entire notebooks with drafts for plans and projects.
Throughout high school, Holmes had a habit of staying up late to study regularly. She soon rose to the top of her class and even started her own business selling C++ compilers (software that interprets computer code) to Chinese schools.
Holmes began studying Mandarin in high school and convinced Stanford University to accept her for a summer program that ended with a trip to Beijing.
Around this time, Holmes decided that she wanted to practice medicine, like her great-great-grandfather, a surgeon. However, she quickly realized that she was afraid of needles.
She later revealed that this is what inspired her to found her company, Theranos, which sought to revolutionize blood testing with technology that allegedly required only a finger prick to detect diseases from cancer to high cholesterol.
Elizabeth Holmes Early Career
After launching Theranos, Holmes was introduced to venture capitalists through her former adviser at Stanford University, Channing Roberston.
The young entrepreneur quickly began to attract funding from well-known investors, collecting about $ 6 million in venture capital by the end of 2004. Over the next decade, Holmes is believed to have raised more than $700 million for Theranos.
For years, Theranos has been shrouded in mystery; there was no public company website or press releases, and investors were given no details about how its technology actually worked.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Theranos went public, when the company partnered with Walgreens to create in-store blood collection centers.
It was around this time that Holmes began to make headlines, giving speeches, speaking at debates, and gracing the covers of Fortune and Forbes, which named her the youngest female billionaire in her 30s. Her company, Theranos, had a reported $9 billion valuation at its peak.
What Is Elizabeth Holmes Net Worth?
After the collapse of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes net worth went from $4.5 billion to $0 in 2022, according to Forbes.
In 2018, the company’s former founder and CEO was also charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) along with the company’s former president, Ramesh Balwani.
That same year, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced charges against Holmes and Balwani for wire fraud and conspiracy.
Elizabeth Holmes earned infamy, a temporary paper fortune, and a criminal record for the now-defunct health technology company Theranos, which she founded and led.
The company’s value soared when it announced a revolution in blood testing. However, a series of investigations revealed that the company had allegedly defrauded investors with false advertising and promises.
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How Did Elizabeth Holmes Build Her Net Worth?
Elizabeth Holmes rose to prominence in Silicon Valley after founding Theranos in 2003 at the age of 19. At the time, Holmes often wore black turtlenecks reminiscent of her hero, the late Apple icon Steve Jobs.
After launching Theranos, Holmes went on to raise nearly $1 billion from investors in what turned out to be bogus promises.
Holmes became a Silicon Valley star when she announced that her now-defunct startup was developing an easy-to-use test kit that could perform a wide range of medical diagnoses with just a few drops of blood.
Instead, Theranos’ tests produced wildly unreliable results, flaws that Holmes tried to hide until the problems were exposed in the media and regulatory scrutiny.
Although Holmes’ conviction was limited to roughly $140 million in Theranos investments, legal experts say the magnitude of those losses alone makes it unlikely that her bid for a relatively short prison sentence or house arrest will succeed.
According to her prosecutors, Holmes knew that her device did not produce accurate and reliable results, but induced dozens of investors to contribute almost one billion dollars, all without producing a significant profit.
At the company’s peak valuation of $9 billion, Elizabeth Holmes net worth was $4.5 billion. This was enough for Elizabeth to receive the title of the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
The scandal soon forced her to resign from Theranos and give up a large stake in the company, which later became worthless. In an Arizona court years later, Elizabeth stated that she could not afford a lawyer and asked that one be provided.
Elizabeth Holmes Net Worth FAQs
On November 18, 2022, Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in federal prison for defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. She will also be supervised for three years after her release from prison. The court ordered Holmes to surrender on April 27, 2023, to begin serving his sentence.
On January 3, 2022, Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of four of seven counts of criminal fraud against investors. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the other three charges. In January, Holmes was convicted of four counts of fraud for convincing investors she had developed a revolutionary medical device before the company imploded following an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.
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