The unicorn has landed: With Theranos’s precipitous fall from grace, Forbes has reevaluated its crowning of Holmes as the richest self-made woman in America last year. In its latest issue, Forbes explains that its estimate of Holmes’s net worth was based solely on her 50% stake in Theranos, which was once valued at $9 billion:
Last year, Elizabeth Holmes topped the FORBES list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Today, FORBES is lowering our estimate of her net worth to nothing . . . FORBES spoke to a dozen venture capitalists, analysts and industry experts and concluded that a more realistic value for Theranos is $800 million, rather than $9 billion.
But let’s not forget that Forbes‘s initial reading of Holmes’s wealth was calculated via a hyped valuation of $9 billion—which, in turn, was the result of big checks written by investors who likely did not know enough about the efficacy of the secretive technology used by Theranos.
So how much has really changed? Holmes didn’t have $4.5 billion in hand then, and she certainly does not now.