Recently, Elon Musk’s Neuralink implanted a chip in a monkey’s brain enabling him to play video games using his mind. To reiterate, Neuralink is working on an ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers.
Now recently, Neuralink has raised a Series C round from Google Ventures and others, while its competitor Synchron is making in-human trials in the US. The round raised was around $205m and was led by Dubai-based investment firm Vy Capital with participation from Google Ventures, DFJ Growth, Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures, Founders Fund, and Gigafund.
A group of individual investors also added to the Series C funding round. The press release says, “We are also happy to share that a group of leading executives and entrepreneurs in areas of strategic importance are also joining the round, including Robert Nelson (Co-Founder of ARCH Venture Partners), Blake Byers (Byers Capital), Sam Altman (Chairman of YC Group and CEO of OpenAI), Fred Ehrsam (Co-founder of Paradigm and Coinbase) and Ken Howery (Co-Founder of PayPal and Founders Fund).”
Neuralink has spent the last four years building the first high channel count brain-machine interface intended for therapeutic use in patients. Our first product, the N1 Link, is a 1024 channel device that, once implanted, is completely invisible and transmits data via a wireless connection.
The first indication this device is intended for is to help quadriplegics regain their digital freedom by allowing users to interact with their computers or phones in high bandwidth and naturalistic ways.
Elon Musk founded Neuralink back in 2016 as a startup specialising in brain-computer interface (BCI). This Series C funding will be used to bring the N1 to market and accelerate the R&D of future products.
To elaborate, the funds from the round will be used to take Neuralink’s first product to market and accelerate the research and development of future products.
Elon Musk founded Neuralink to help those with brain injuries in the near term and reduce AI risk to humanity in the long term. The company’s mission is to develop brain-machine interfaces that treat various brain-related ailments. The eventual goal is to create a whole-brain interface capable of connecting biological and artificial intelligence more closely.