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Neuralink: A $5 Billion Bet on the Future Despite Uncertain Road to Market

Updated 5.6.2023 17:12

Neuralink Is Valued at a $5 Billion Valuation. A Bet on the Future of Neural Technology Despite Uncertain Road to Going Public.  

Elon Musk’s neurotechnology company, Neuralink, is currently valued at approximately $5 billion, despite experts predicting a long road to commercial viability. The recent valuation marks a significant increase from its close-to $2 billion valuation during a private funding round two years ago. This growth is largely attributed to bullish investors and the recent U.S. regulatory approval for human trials of Neuralink’s brain implant technology.

However, Neuralink faces a number of challenges, including federal investigations into its animal research practices. Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineering at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggests it could take at least another decade for Neuralink’s brain implant to reach commercialization.

Despite these hurdles, Neuralink shares have been privately marketed to investors at a $7 billion valuation, equivalent to $55 per share, following the approval of its clinical trials. The transactions contributing to the $5 billion valuation have been carried out by shareholders such as employees and early backers of the company, not through Neuralink selling new shares.

Musk has lofty ambitions for Neuralink, envisioning its chip as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, from obesity to schizophrenia, and even as a means for web surfing and telepathy. However, a Neuralink executive has outlined more modest short-term objectives, such as aiding paralyzed patients in computerized communication without the need for typing.

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Nevertheless, some biomedical experts have voiced skepticism over Neuralink’s current valuation, given its early stage of clinical development. Arun Sridhar, a scientist and entrepreneur specializing in neuromodulation, deemed the valuation “bonkers.”

Furthermore, Neuralink has faced scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over potential conflict-of-interest violations related to its animal-research board. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating possible animal-welfare violations, and the Department of Transportation is probing whether the company illegally transported dangerous pathogens on chips removed from monkey brains without proper containment measures.

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Justin Hopper

Justin Hopper is an editor of the digital media at Wealthy VC and TCI. If you have questions don't hesitate to reach out! Twitter | Email

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