**Neuralink Raises $280 Million in Funding for Brain-Implant Technology Development**
Neuralink, the brain-implant company founded by Elon Musk, has secured $280 million in new funding from investors to advance its innovative technology.
**Funding Announcement and Lead Investor**
In an update on Musk’s X social network, Neuralink disclosed the recent funding round. The lead investor in this round was Founders Fund, a venture capital firm associated with billionaire Peter Thiel.
**The Rise of Brain Technology Companies**
Neuralink’s prominence has spurred the growth of the brain technology industry, with numerous startups exploring similar advancements. In fact, neurotechnology startups have raised $143 million through June 2023, as per PitchBook data. Comparatively, the figures stood at $278.1 million in 2022 and $518.9 million in 2021. Notably, Neuralink’s rival, Synchron Inc., beat it to enroll the first patient in a US clinical trial last year.
**FDA Approval for Human Clinical Trials**
Neuralink recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate human clinical trials. The company is working on a compact device that employs electrode-laced wires to establish a connection between the brain and a computer. The implantation process involves drilling into the skull.
**Ethical Concerns and Investigations**
Neuralink has faced scrutiny from animal rights groups due to its testing on primates. Earlier this year, the US Transportation Department initiated an investigation into the company after an animal advocacy organization obtained emails suggesting improper shipping procedures for potentially hazardous materials.
In summary, Neuralink has raised $280 million in funding, led by Founders Fund, to further develop its brain-implant technology. The industry’s growth has been fueled by Neuralink’s prominence, leading to increased investment and interest in brain technology startups. The recent FDA approval allows Neuralink to conduct human clinical trials for its device, although the company has faced ethical concerns regarding its testing on animals.