Neuralink Raises $280 Million in Series D Funding Round

Elon Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink, has secured a $280 million series D funding round, following its recent clearance to study its device in humans. The investment was led by Founders Fund, Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm. This comes after Founders Fund was also part of a syndicate of investors that backed Neuralink’s $205 million series C round in 2021.

The funding will be used by Neuralink to address the concerns of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its brain-computer interface and to gain authorization for a clinical trial. Musk has made ambitious claims about the technology, presenting it as a potential treatment for conditions like blindness and a means to augment humans in competition against artificial intelligence.

Neuralink faced regulatory hurdles as the FDA initially rejected its application to test the device in humans due to concerns about the potential movement of wires and failure of the lithium battery within the brain. However, in May, the company announced that it had obtained FDA clearance for a first-in-human clinical trial, although recruitment had yet to begin. The series D funding will provide Neuralink the resources to advance its device into the clinical testing phase.

Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal with Musk, is supporting Neuralink’s development through Founders Fund. Thiel holds a stake in Blackrock Neurotech, a competitor to Neuralink. Another contender in the brain-computer interface market is Synchron, a New York-based startup that recently published 12-month data on four recipients of its device. Investment funds tied to Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have also invested in Synchron.