Musk’s Brain Chip Startup Raises $280 Million in Funding

BySamson Ononeme

Aug 7, 2023
Elon Musk's Neuralink Raises $280 Million in Latest Fundraising

Key Insights

  • The startup of the richest businessman in the world, Elon Musk, Neuralink has attracted $280 million in investments as part of a new round.
  • The company did not name the cost of the round, but Reuters wrote in June that Neuralink’s valuation had reached $5 billion.
  • In May, Musk’s company announced that it had received a license for human clinical trials.

Billionaire Elon Musk‘s startup Neuralink has raised $280 million in Series D funding, the company said on Twitter. Neuralink did not disclose how much of the shares it sold and how much was the estimated value of the entire company. The lead investor in the round was the Founders Fund, which was created by PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Ken Howery and Luke Nosek.

In early June, Reuters reported that Neuralink’s valuation had reached $5 billion, based on private deals in Neuralink’s stock in the past few months before the company said U.S. regulators approved human trials of its technology. Musk’s startup was valued at nearly $2 billion in a private round two years ago, Reuters noted.

Following the approval of the human trials, Neuralink offered investors to buy the company’s securities at a valuation of $7 billion, or $55 per share, the agency said, citing an email it obtained. However, Reuters could not find out if any of the investors agreed to buy Neuralink shares on such terms.

Neuralink announced on May 26 that it has received approval to conduct clinical trials in humans. Recruitment of volunteers for clinical trials is not yet open, the company said at the time. Prior to that, in early March, sources told Reuters that US authorities had rejected Neuralink’s application to study its brain chips in humans, citing security risks. Regulators have identified dozens of issues that the company had to resolve before testing began. The main concerns were the chip’s lithium battery, the possibility of moving its wires to other areas of the brain, and questions about whether the device can be pulled out and how to do it without damaging the brain, the agency wrote.

Neuralink has been working since 2016, its goal is to create a chip that will help eliminate the effects of brain and spinal cord injuries so that paralyzed people can move again. In February 2021, Musk announced the successful implantation of a chip into the brain of a monkey, in April of the same year, the company showed a video with a monkey playing “thought power” in video games. In December 2022, Reuters wrote that Neuralink was being reviewed by U.S. authorities for a potential violation of laboratory animal regulations. Neuralink has previously denied allegations of cruelty to animals in experiments. In February 2023, the US Department of Transportation announced an audit of the company due to allegations of unsafe transportation of contaminated equipment.

In December 2022, Neuralink’s competitor, Synchron, which also develops brain-computer systems and received US regulatory approval for clinical trials of such systems in humans, announced that it had raised $75 million in investments: among other companies, billionaire Jeff Bezos participated in the round and Bill Gates (founder of Amazon and co-founder of Microsoft, respectively).

Read also: Is Elon Musk Losing Influence on the Price of Dogecoin (DOGE)?

Elon Musk ranks first in the ranking of the richest businessmen in the world right now, follows from the Forbes Real-Time ranking, which is updated in real time depending on quotes. Musk is worth an estimated $228.1 billion.

Samson Ononeme

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