Venture Capital Funding for Neuralink: $43 Million
Elon Musk’s implantable brain-wave-reading semiconductor startup Neuralink received $43 million in venture finance. This cash was disclosed in an SEC filing.
Round of Increased Funding
The report shows that in early August, Neuralink raised its previous funding round from $280 million to $323 million. Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund led the round. An official document says that 32 buyers took part in this round.
Innovation and Valuation
Neuralink hasn’t said how much the company is worth right now, but a story from Reuters in June said that after private stock trades, the company was worth about $5 billion.
Neuralink, a 2016 startup, makes a sewing machine that can insert small threads into the brain. These threads are connected to a special microcontroller with wires that read neuron data.
Neuralink is different because it can put more electrodes and offer wireless implant technology. This makes it a leader in the field of brain-signal-reading implants.
Debates and Clinical Trials on Humans
After being turned down at first, Neuralink finally got FDA permission for human clinical trials in May. Since then, the company has set up its first studies with people, using an investigational device exemption from the FDA.
However, Neuralink has come under fire for what some perceive as an unhealthy work atmosphere and questionable research practices. Former workers have talked about a “culture of blame and fear,” and Elon Musk himself told younger workers to email him directly with problems and complaints.
Additionally, there have been reports of mistreatment of monkeys during testing using Neuralink devices. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) said that Neuralink and UC Davis, which used to work with Neuralink on research projects, caused the monkey’s mental suffering and long-term infections by rushing through surgeries. These claims have made people wonder how committed the company is to animal care.
Federal Probe and SEC Probe
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigated Neuralink for possible animal welfare infractions for almost a year. In the end, the USDA determined that, except for one event reported in 2019, there was “no evidence” of breaches. Nevertheless, the PCRM disagreed with these conclusions.
The US Congress requested an investigation into Neuralink from the Securities and Exchange Commission in November 2023 following allegations that the company had covered up the deaths of twelve animals implanted with its devices.
Despite all the controversy, Neuralink is still attracting a lot of money, developing brain implant technologies, and expanding the frontiers of what neuroscience can do.