Musk’s Neuralink raises $280m and is expanding its team

8 Aug 2023

Image: © Timon/

The latest batch of funding was led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and follows Neuralink’s recent FDA approval to run clinical trials on humans.

Neuralink, the brain-implant technology company founded by Elon Musk, has raised $280m in a Series D funding round.

The company said this funding round was led by Founders Fund, the VC firm co-founded by billionaire tech investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Founders Fund lists Neuralink on its portfolio, along with other Musk-associated companies such as SpaceX and The Boring Company. Neuralink did not disclose the valuation that the latest funding was raised on.

In a tweet yesterday (7 August), Neuralink said it is “extremely excited about this next chapter” and shared a link to its Careers page. The company is recruiting for various engineering, research and intern positions.

Founded in 2016 by Musk along with experts in neuroscience and robotics, San Francisco-headquartered Neuralink has been working on brain-computer interface technology that includes an implantable chip that can allow humans to control computers with their brain.

In the long term, Musk hopes the Neuralink devices will enable people to achieve “superhuman cognition”. The company’s first product, the N1 Link device, is an implant that transmits data via a wireless connection.

While it may sound like science fiction, the company has trialled the technology with pigs and monkeys. One monkey even made headlines when it was shown playing the classic video game Pong with its mind via two N1 Link chips embedded in its brain.

In May, Neuralink claimed it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to run clinical trials on humans. At the time, the company said this approval represented “an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people”.

Controversial investigations

But like many companies associated with Musk, Neuralink has been hit with controversy in the past. The company faced federal investigation in the US for potential animal welfare violations during its trials.

Reuters report in December based on records and sources with direct knowledge of the company’s animal-testing operations found that Neuralink had killed about 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys.

The investigation followed internal staff complaints around how the company was allegedly rushing its animal testing, resulting in botched experiments. Neuralink denied these claims earlier this year.

In February, the US Department of Transportation said it was investigating Neuralink for potentially moving hazardous pathogens, Reuters reported. An animal welfare group claimed implants removed from the brains of monkeys were being moved in an unsafe way and that these implants could contain infectious diseases.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic