Venture capital investor Tim Draper defended Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on Thursday, despite the total collapse of the formerly heralded start-up.
“I feel we have taken down another great icon,” Draper said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
The founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, who was an early investor in Theranos, called the start-up a “great vision,” despite the fact that the it lost investors close to $900 million and Holmes was later charged with “massive fraud.”
“Look what she did, she created an amazing opportunity,” Draper said.
Holmes promised to “transform health care as we know it,” and got “bullied into submission,” Draper said. This was “one of the cases where the entrepreneur was defeated,” he said.
Draper also defended Theranos technology, saying it yielded results identical to those in a doctor’s office.
Theranos was once widely considered a very highly esteemed start-up in Silicon Valley. Touted as the personification of innovation, Holmes graced the covers of major magazines. But Wall Street Journal investigations over the past five years questioned the efficacy of Theranos’ blood testing technology and raised flags for regulators.
In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Holmes and her former business partner and boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani of fraud and knowingly “deceiving investors.” Holmes agreed to settle and pay a $500,000 fine. She will be barred from serving as a director or officer of a public company for 10 years.
“I am thrilled with what she’s done,” Draper said.