At Sunny Balwani’s company, he sold for $40 million before meeting Elizabeth Holmes
Before the meeting Elizabeth Holmes and engaging with Theranos as recorded in Hulu The DropoutHis technology entrepreneur Sunny Balwani had already made millions.
Sunny Balwani earned $40 million for acquiring CommerceBid
Before meeting Elizabeth Holmes in 2002, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani worked for software companies Lotus Software and Microsoft.
Around 1998, he helped found the software development company CommerceBid, which was formed to help organizations buy and sell goods over the Internet, and its popularity skyrocketed. In July 1999, business-to-business e-commerce company CommerceOne, which used auctions to connect companies with its suppliers, had its first day of trading after going public.
TIED TOGETHER: The Dropout: Naveen Andrews explains how the show handled the allegations against Sunny Balwani
The share price reportedly rose 190%. In November of this year, CommerceOne acquired CommerceBid von Balwani for $4.5 million in cash and 785,000 shares of the company before merging with General Motors for an online marketplace.
He then joined CommerceOne’s board of directors before selling his stake for nearly $40 million in July 2000, just before the bursting of the dot-com bubble that eventually put CommerceOne out of business six years later.
Balwani was married and 37 years old when he met Elizabeth Holmes
After selling his shares, Balwani went back to school and attended the University of California, Berkeley. While in college, the then 37-year-old met 18-year-old Holmes during a trip to Beijing in 2002 as part of Stanford University’s Mandarin program.
Reportedly married at the time, he and Holmes didn’t begin a romantic relationship until 2003, when he earned his Masters of Business Administration degree, and she broke it off to move on Theranos. In 2005, the couple moved in together.
Because she was focused on starting the health technology company, he enrolled in a computer science graduate program at Stanford University, where he studied for four years before dropping out in 2008 to help with Theranos. He didn’t officially join the company as Chief Operating Officer until 2009, but it’s reported that he’s always had something to do with Theranos behind the scenes.
While running the company together, the two never revealed their romantic relationship until it was investigated, which eventually led to his departure in 2016. It’s unclear why Balwani quit, but she claims she fired him and he has stated that he decided to leave.
The Dropout portrayed the romantic relationship between Balwani and Holmes
The Dropout had portrayed Balwani (Naveen Andrews) and Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) decade-long relationship that began when the 18-year-old met the tech entrepreneur in Beijing over the summer before founding Stanford.
As documented on the show, Holmes seemed eager to learn Mandarin while needing something to fill his time after selling CommerceBid. However, the two quickly connected their desire through an invention that helps people become billionaires.
The couple split briefly before reconciling and beginning an official relationship in 2003 when Holmes launched Theranos. Before Balwani joined the board, the show portrayed him as someone who had a lot to do with her transition to “professionalism” and how she ran the company.
He eventually joined the board as COO when Holmes was cornered by investors pledging his money to keep Theranos afloat. Balwani then became an unsympathetic central figure who began to run day-to-day operations in a controlled and fear-based environment. When they received sanctions from CMS, which suspended them for two years, and Theranos faced a criminal investigation in 2016, the couple parted ways.
TIED TOGETHER: “The Dropout”: Elizabeth Holmes is said to have danced alone
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-dropout-sunny-balwani-company-sold-40-million-before-meeting-elizabeth-holmes.html/ At Sunny Balwani’s company, he sold for $40 million before meeting Elizabeth Holmes