Elon Musk’s Neuralink Gets Fresh $280 Million Handout In A Peter Thiel-Backed Funding Round

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s pioneering venture focusing on brain-implant technology, has successfully secured a substantial funding infusion of $280 million from a consortium of investors, spearheaded by Peter Thiel’s renowned Founders Fund.

Although the precise valuation following this funding influx remains undisclosed, earlier reports by Reuters in June had pegged Neuralink’s value at approximately $5 billion, a valuation derived from discreet stock transactions.

“We’re extremely excited about this next chapter at Neuralink,” the company said in a post on Musk-owned social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

In the backdrop of Neuralink’s progress, its journey hasn’t been without controversy. Reports from Neuralink employees, as revealed by Reuters last year, indicated instances of rushed surgeries and missteps during animal experiments involving monkeys, pigs, and sheep. Allegedly, these actions led to more animal casualties than necessary, as Musk’s pursuit of FDA endorsement exerted pressure on the team.

Notably, the data generated from the animal trials was intended to bolster Neuralink’s application for human clinical trials, adding a layer of significance to the reported challenges faced. This momentous funding round comes on the heels of Neuralink’s recent milestone: gaining approval for its inaugural human clinical trial.

In the earlier months of this year, an investigation was initiated by the U.S. Department of Transportation subsequent to claims made by an animal advocacy group. This group asserted that they had acquired emails hinting at the startup’s potential negligence in adhering to appropriate protocols during the transportation of materials that could potentially pose risks.

Neuralink stands as the most recognizable contender within an expanding realm of brain technology enterprises. The prominence of Neuralink has contributed, in part, to catalyzing investor support for numerous other startups delving into akin technological ventures. Notably, startups in the realm of neurotechnology have amassed $143 million in funding within the current year up to June 26, based on data from PitchBook. This figure contrasts with $278.1 million in the entirety of 2022 and $518.9 million in 2021.

Highlighting competition in this domain, one notable rival, Synchron Inc., achieved a significant milestone by enrolling its inaugural patient in a clinical trial on U.S. soil last year, effectively outpacing Neuralink in reaching this landmark accomplishment.

Furthermore, concerns over the composition of a panel overseeing animal experimentation at Neuralink raised eyebrows among U.S. lawmakers. This concern prompted calls for regulatory scrutiny, amid suspicions of potential financial conflicts within the panel, an issue highlighted by Reuters.

This development underscored the need for transparency and integrity in the pursuit of groundbreaking advancements in neurotechnology.

Information for this briefing was found via Fortune, Reuters, and sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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