Larry Ellison, the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, is a well-known technology entrepreneur. Known for his investments in various industries, there have been many rumors surrounding whether or not he invested in Theranos, the blood-testing company that has since become embroiled in controversy.

To answer this question properly requires examining the history of both Larry Ellison and Theranos – as well as considering what evidence exists about their potential business relationship.

Who is Larry Ellison?

Before answering questions about whether or not Larry Ellison invested in Theranos, it’s worth taking a closer look at who he actually is. Born on August 17th, 1944 in New York City, Mr. Ellison was raised by his adoptive parents until he moved to California to attend college. After several failed start-up ventures with partners like Bob Miner and Ed Oates, Larry founded Software Development Laboratories – which would become what we know today as Oracle Corporation.

Since then, Mr. Ellison has made significant contributions to multiple industries including technology (Oracle), aviation (through a venture called Blue Origin), real estate (via multiple development projects in Hawaii) and even sailing (as CEO of America’s Cup Racing). Over time he also became known for his philanthropy through efforts such as The Lawrence J. & Mae R. Shapiro Foundation which donates extensively across multiple charities around the world.

All this aside however; did this pioneering tech baron make an investment into one of Silicon Valley’s most infamous firms – Theranos?

What Is Theranos?

What Is Theranos?

Founded by Elizabeth Holmes back in 2003 at age just 19 after dropping out from Stanford University , Theranos aimed originally to revolutionize how blood tests were performed by developing new “micro-sampling” techniques using proprietary devices known snanalyzers`. By reducing amounts required and performing more complex analyses off small volumes they could deliver much quicker results combined with cost savings compared to traditional labs offering potentially lifesaving benefits domestically and internationally.

For a while, Theranos was seen as one of the most exciting healthcare startups around. In May 2014, The Wall Street Journal even named Ms. Holmes “The Next Steve Jobs” due to her leadership abilities and innovative approach to medicine.

Things began to unravel for Theranos in October 2015 when The Wall Street Journal published an investigative report that cast doubt on the company’s claims about its technology. This sparked a chain reaction leading up to widespread findings that concluded the company’s entire mission was based on scientific and technological falsehoods designed by Elizabeth Holmes’ desired image rather than practical viability – resulting in layoffs of hundreds of staff members, financial penalties imposed by regulatory authorities such as SEC; alongside civil lawsuits filed against Founder/CEO as well former executives Sunny Balwani et al relating deception charges involving investors (including Walgreens & Safeway who terminated partnerships with Theranos), patients exposed to malfunctioning devices using standard laboratory equipment mass marketed under pretence these would carry out micro-analytical tests along side potential fraud convictions carrying potential prison sentences.

It all makes it clear why any involvement from Larry Ellison raised eyebrows – did he really invest into such a high-risk proposition?

Did Larry Ellison Invest in Theranos?

The question whether or not Mr. Ellison invested in Theranos is still mostly unanswered – especially given how many unanswered questions there are surrounding just what investments were made at all!

While various sources claimed otherwise at times, both Oracle Corporation and Larry Ellison himself have denied making any direct investment into either of Tharano’s fundraising rounds typically cited during investigation timeline (2006-08). Ms Elizabeth Holmes also failed produce credible evidence refuting statements concerning this matter regarding her once close relationship sought out just prior **some conflicting press reports suggest she’d touted his investing upon them meeting). Bloomberg reported back in late 2015 that Oracle eventually opted out following due diligence proceedings market intelligence reviews learning much more crucial information which led them to believe risk-reward profile wasn’t in their favor – specifically around authenticity of product/services, lack of FDA approvals , irrational valuations etc.

What Evidence Suggests Larry Ellison Didn’t Invest in Theranos?

There are a number of reasons why it seems likely that Mr. Ellison did not directly invest in Theranos:

1) Public Statements: Oracle itself clarifying publicly through official statements along with several interviews given by various sources – including both Larry Ellison and Safra Catz (now Co-CEO alongside Mark Hurd), failed establish any concrete evidence suggesting direct financial involvement.

2) No Record Of Investment: Given how big an investment from Larry Ellison would have been, it’s surprising that there is no record of him or his company officially becoming an investor within the aforementioned fund raising periods either directly via purchase agreements or venture funds associated exclusively to him .

3) It Is Not In Line With His Investments Philosophy: When we look at some examples of past investments made by Oracle Corporation proprietors (besides his well known real estate endeavors on Hawaiian islands such as Lanai and Kalaupapa), most seem aligned through existing or potential synergy between these new ventures and core-business focus areas. The whole medical blood screening field doesn’t fall under such purview where pertinent expertise sometimes only found outside IT.

While Mr. Ellison may have been close to Ms Holmes personally as evidenced numerous public quotes et al; none prove he backed her firm financially beyond minimal grants awarded college start ups Stanford University related to other R&D work universities might be embarking upon during basic research stages according insiders anyway.


It seems clear that while Larry Ellison was once fairly closely involved with Elizabeth Holmes and many speculate discussions might have taken place behind closed doors together – ultimately Oracle had little appetite for making direct investment into a clinical laboratory field rarely seen as one synergizing well with their core competencies by way extant & future EHR software & technologies.

It should be clear however that while Theranos was once seen as an innovative and exciting healthcare start-up, the truth regarding its technology (and indeed the honesty of its leaders) has since been called into question. And although Mr. Larry Ellison did not invest in this particular company at any given round – it is always worth broadening our analysis to think about which opportunities truly fit within respective portfolio when making big decisions around investment.