Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Theranos’ Letter To Shareholders Shows The Company Is On Its Deathbed" (FRAU.D)

Let's see if Tim Draper has Changed his tune. From July 2016's "Theranos Is Flopping Like A Dying Fish":
Sometimes they flop themselves right back into the water, but that's not the way to bet....
... World’s Most Loyal V.C. Says Theranos Critics Are Just Haters
Tim Draper goes to bat for Elizabeth Holmes.
When Theranos C.E.O. Elizabeth Holmes was growing up, her neighbor was famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper. A family friend to the Holmeses, Draper’s children grew up playing with Elizabeth. He also, incidentally, wrote one of the first seed checks to Theranos a decade ago, long before it was valued at $9 billion (and later, just $800 million). His Sand Hill Road firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, has continued to support Holmes. And he’s still defending the company today, even after a series of critical Wall Street Journal reports revealed that the start-up often relied on generic machines to run its blood tests because its own proprietary Edison machines—the technology that the entire business ran on—didn’t work.

Despite it all, Draper told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang in aninterview published Thursday night, “nothing’s gone wrong with Theranos.” The venture capitalist compares Theranos to “the way Uber was attacked by taxi drivers, and Bitcoin was attacked by the banks,” he says. “Theranos is being attacked by the powers that be in big pharma, in [Holmes’s] competitors, in the world of medical insurance, the people in government who are going to be very much affected by a really cheap, really effective, wonderful solution.”...
And today's story from BuzzFeed:
“The most viable option that we have identified to forestall a near-term sale or a potential default under our credit agreement is further investment by one or more of you.”

Theranos, the disgraced blood testing company, is in dire financial straits and may have to default on a $100 million loan, according to a letter to shareholders from its CEO Elizabeth Holmes that was obtained by BuzzFeed News.

In the note, sent to investors Tuesday, the embattled Theranos founder said that the company had hit delays on a blood test for the Zika virus and had been unable to obtain approval for the product from the Food and Drug Administration. It also asked its existing investors for more money.
FDA approval was necessary for the company to unlock a tranche of debt funding from private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, which in December agreed to loan Theranos $100 million, but in installments and upon the achievement of certain milestones.

Up until Tuesday, the company had only received $65 million of that commitment from Fortress, wrote Holmes, who said she asked Fortress if it would release the next $10 million tranche without the FDA approval for the test. That was not assured, according to Holmes, who then explained that to cut costs, all but a handful of employees had been notified that they would be laid off within 60 days. The Wall Street Journal first reported on those layoffs and said that headcount would be reduced from 125 employees to less than two dozen....MUCH MORE