The biotechnology startup Neuralink, owned by Elon Musk, raised $280 million in a funding round, the company revealed on Monday via X, the platform owned by Musk that replaced Twitter.
The controversial billionaire and cofounder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, founded Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, which took the lead in the Series D investment.
“We’re extremely excited about this next chapter at Neuralink,” the company wrote.
Musk has been working on this project for the past five years, and the brain chip business intends to employ implants to connect your brain to a computer. The business, which until this point had exclusively conducted animal testing, has come under fire after a monkey died during project testing in 2022 while being trained to play the computer game Pong, reports CNN.
Neuralink has been creating Bluetooth-enabled implantable chips that can be placed into macaque monkeys' brains and, according to the company, can communicate with computers via a small receiver.
The financial information was revealed months after Musk declared that the business would begin conducting human trials. At a hiring event in December, the billionaire said that Neuralink had "most" of its paperwork submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration and could start human testing in six months.
However, according to a December article by Reuters, staff claim the corporation is rushing to market, which has led to irresponsible animal deaths and a federal probe.
Neuralink's brain implants will require regulatory approval before they are mass-produced and made available to the general public. In 2021, the FDA published a document outlining the organization's preliminary conclusions about brain-computer interface devices, saying that the industry is"progressing rapidly."
Neuralink posted a tweet on Monday informing followers that they were hiring and inviting them to "join in on engineering challenges to restore vision and mobility."