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Theranos CEO Holmes: We Turned Down Google Ventures, Not the Other Way Around

Elizabeth Holmes claims she never even met Google Ventures' Bill Maris.

Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty

Earlier today, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes took the stage at the WSJDLive Conference to defend her company, which has faced severe criticism following a Wall Street Journal investigation questioning the veracity of her startup’s blood-testing tech.

Holmes repeatedly disputed the Wall Street Journal report, along with other recent claims about Theranos. Among those claims: That Bill Maris, the high-powered investor who runs Google Ventures, passed on Theranos two years ago. It was the other way around, Holmes said.

In an interview with Business Insider on Tuesday, Maris said his firm considered Theranos two years ago, but declined. Here’s Maris: “We looked at it a couple times, but there was so much hand-waving — like, Look over here! — that we couldn’t figure it out. So, we just had someone from our life-science investment team go into Walgreens and take the test. And it wasn’t that difficult for anyone to determine that things may not be what they seem here.”

Asked about Maris’s comments, Holmes claimed she has never met Maris. She went further, adding that Google Ventures, which has invested in multiple medical health companies, approached Theranos but Theranos turned them down. “His firm asked us at one point if we wanted to meet and we said, ‘No,’” the CEO claimed.

Update: Google Ventures has given Re/code a statement from Maris:

Our team constantly looks at opportunities in life sciences and as a part of the process, we looked at Theranos. We had one of our team members take the test and were underwhelmed by the results and experience. We did not pursue an investment. Bigger picture: The critical issue is that there are a lot of patients who deserve to know whether their blood test results are accurate. That’s what really matters.

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