Elon Musk uses poop emoji to deny that he’s seeking $100m for start-up

29 Aug 2017

Image: Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Elon Musk has responded to claims that he is seeking $100m for his brain interface start-up in a very 21st-century way.

Elon Musk might be best known for his Tesla and SpaceX ventures, but the serial founder has already expanded his company portfolio out to four, with the addition of The Boring Company and brain-computer interface start-up, Neuralink.

Announced last March, the Neuralink plans to develop ‘neural lace’ technology to allow people to communicate directly with machines without going through a physical interface.

However, Musk is being particularly coy about what the company is up to, especially after The Wall Street Journal reporter Rolfe Winkler discovered SEC filings that suggest it is looking to raise $100m from investors.

Based on the online document, Neuralink has raised just under $27m so far for the start-up, with 12 unknown individuals listed as investors.

When asked for a comment by Winkler on Twitter, Musk simply responded that the start-up was not seeking investment.

But, when Winkler linked the SEC filing showing 12 investors, Musk decided that words were not enough to deny the claim.

Boring idea becomes more real

In the days that followed, Musk referenced his previous experience of founding start-ups, and his insistence on not seeking major funding from investors in the beginning.

In a tweet, he said that he would only allow small investments to be made, especially when companies are facing a failure probability of more than 90pc.

Meanwhile, Musk’s other venture, The Boring Company, was demonstrating how a Tesla Model S could fit into one of the tunnels being dug by the new venture.

A Model S in The Boring Company tunnel being dug under Los Angeles (starting in Hawthorne)

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Its aim is to build a series of tunnels underneath major cities in order to ease congestion on roads, with cars travelling on the system acting as passengers aboard a high-speed trolley system.

Unlike typical tunnel-building operations, Musk’s idea is to create single-lane tunnels using boring machines that would be made more efficient by automation, with increasing research and development to make them faster.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic