Outside the Box: Any one of these 15 money-losing companies could become the stock market’s biggest ‘unicorn’ failure ever

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Stock Market

David Rush holds a Guinness world record for cramming 100 candles into his mouth and lighting them. Sandeep Singh Kaila spun a basketball on a toothbrush for a record 1 minute and 8.15 seconds. Neville Sharp emitted a 112.4 decibel burp. If those zany stunts can make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, there should be a category for something really important — the world’s biggest startup company failure. There is certainly no shortage of contenders for this dubious honor.

Before 2015, the biggest bankruptcies (by funding) were Solyndra ($1.2 billion), Abound Solar ($614 million), and Better Place ($675 million). WebVan got a lot of publicity when it received $275 million in venture capital funding and failed in 2001 after three years of operation. More recently, Theranos received $500 million in venture capital funding and was a well-publicized disaster, with CEO Elizabeth Holmes and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani both convicted of multiple counts of fraud. Those failures are large, but the cumulative losses of many startups that h …

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