According to reports, the billionaire Tesla CEO and Neuralink Executive is considering an investment in a competitor brain-chip firm.
Elon Musk, tech entrepreneur and investor, has been reported to be considering investing in Synchron. Synchron is a brain-chip developer that competes with Neuralink.
Musk has reached out to Synchron’s founder and CEO Thomas Oxley in recent weeks to explore a possible venture, four people familiar with the discussions told the outlet, while noting that the talks are far from finalized, and it is yet unclear whether a deal will be made.
Synchron Inc., New York City’s brain implant company, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This approval was granted last year. It also conducted separate human trials with four Australians to gather valuable data that could be used for future testing.
Musk repeatedly mentioned that human testing for the Neuralink is possible in the future. However, the Neuralink has not yet been authorized and the status of the company in regulatory matters are unknown. In contrast to Synchron’s device, installing the Neuralink requires a major surgical operation involving cuts into the skull, possibly explaining the slower progress.
According to Reuters the discussions between Musk and Synchron wouldn’t be Musk’s first attempt to reach out to a rival company in brain technology. In fact, he had previously met with Paradromics Inc. for talks back in 2020. However, those negotiations were cut short.
Neuralink has a larger workforce than most companies, with 300 employees and $363m in invested capital since its inception in 2016. Synchron was also launched in the same year. It employs around 60 people and attracted $65 million less from investors.