Probably the biggest quote in "VC land" this week was from Jina Choi, director of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office in relation to the Theranos fraud case “Innovators who seek to revolutionise and disrupt an industry must tell investors the truth about what their technology can do today, not just what they hope it might do someday.’’
But the saga hits closer to home than this analysis suggests. Local VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson gave Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes the first $500,000 to start her company — even though partner Steve Jurvetson later put it about that DFJ had been cut off from information about how the business was doing. Philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, wife of top tech investor Marc Andreessen, personally penned a eulogy to Ms Holmes in The New York Times. And Oracle boss Larry Ellison was among the backers. Another uncomfortable truth for the Valley is that Theranos thrived in part because it fitted so neatly into local mystique: it supposedly had a wonder technology, invented by a photogenic college dropout who wanted to “democratise” (Ms Arrillaga-Andreessen’s word) access to a potentially life-saving service.