Startup News: Neuralink gets FDA Nod to implant brain chip in second human

Neuralink has received federal approval to place a brain chip in a second patient after assuring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it had fixed some problems tied to its first human implant.

Co-founded in 2016 by Elon Musk, Fremont, Calif.-based Neuralink is developing implantable devices designed to help patients with a host of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s and paralysis.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “the fixes include embedding some of the device’s ultrathin wires deeper into the brain, according to a person familiar with the company” and a document viewed by the Journal.

Neuralink’s implant, writes the Journal, is a device about the size of a U.S. quarter that holds electronics and a battery. The device’s external threads are placed into the brain’s motor cortex to relay neural signals.

Neurlink’s Forge Price™ is $29.31 as of May 22, 2024, which implies a valuation of $7.33 billion.

Blue Origin launches first space flight with tourists in over two years

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is back in the space tourism business.

Forbes reported that on Sunday, May 19 the Kirkland, Wash.-based space exploration company founded by Bezos launched six people from a West Texas launch site about 62 miles above Earth's surface and back.

According to Forbes, Blue Origin has flown both manned and unmanned rockets into space 37 times, including Sunday's mission. Blue Origin’s first test rocket launched in 2006 and the first crewed flight, which included Amazon and Blue Origin founder Bezos as a passenger, took place in August 2021. Among the “space tourists” who have flown on Blue Origin missions are actor William Shatner and “Good Morning America” host and former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.

Sunday’s mission was Blue Origin’s seventh crewed mission and included six members. It was Blue Origin’s first crewed flight since 2022.

Defense Tech firm Anduril seeking to raise $1.5B in funding

Founded in 2017, The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Anduril has developed drones, autonomous jets, and other military technology. According to The Information, Anduril executives are engaged in discussions to raise “what would be one of the largest venture capital rounds of the year so far, seeking about $1.5 billion of fresh funds that would value the company at $12.5 billion or more, two people who have spoken to the company said.”

If the funding round materializes, it would bring Anduril’s valuation far above the $8.5 billion where the company was listed on the Forge Global site following its last funding round in December 2022.

The Information reported that the company has told investors that it has doubled annual revenue to about $500 million in 2023.

Anduril’s Forge Price™ is $29.31 as of May 22, 2024, which implies a valuation of $15.04 billion.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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