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Peter Thiel is backing a rival to Elon Musk’s brain implant company

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > Peter Thiel is backing a rival to Elon Musk’s brain implant company

Peter Thiel, co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies Inc., speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Palantir co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel has invested in a company that’s putting computer chips into people’s heads in a bid to improve them in some way.

The early Facebook investor, who co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk in 1998, has backed the firm called Blackrock Neurotech in a $10 million financing round, taking an undisclosed amount of equity in the process.

The funding round was confirmed to CNBC by Blackrock Neurotech but Thiel declined to comment.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Blackrock has been selling hardware and software to the neuroscience research community for over a decade.

“It’s a niche market but one we knew we could get revenue in, and we’ve been profitable since 2015,” Blackrock Neurotech CEO Marcus Gerhardt told CNBC, adding that the firm hasn’t taken any significant venture capital funding until now.

“We got to a stage in 2020, where we couldn’t take all the contracts we were being offered so we realized we needed external capital to do that,” he added.

Among other things, Blackrock Neurotech, which has