Documentary: Spilling the truth on start-up scam

Documentary sheds light on how a Silicon Valley darling used charisma and lies to raise billions for a bogus blood-testing device

With her black turtleneck sweaters, Elizabeth Holmes (above), founder of Theranos, cultivated the perception that she was the next Steve Jobs.
With her black turtleneck sweaters, Elizabeth Holmes (above), founder of Theranos, cultivated the perception that she was the next Steve Jobs. PHOTO: HBO

The fall of the blood-testing start-up Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes - once the darling of Silicon Valley - goes under the microscope in a new film by Alex Gibney, a director known for his hard-hitting documentaries.

Speaking in Los Angeles earlier this year, Gibney and two former Theranos employees who helped expose the company's lies say her charisma and investors' gullibility created a perfect storm - and a situation that endangered the lives of patients who trusted its supposedly revolutionary blood-testing technology.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Spilling the truth on start-up scam'. Subscribe