Elon Musk is dedicated to digging. The tech entrepreneur is so committed to his newest venture, tunnel-building firm The Boring Company, that he’s poured an extraordinary sum of money into the new project. Documents released by the Securities And Exchange Commission on Monday reveal a new round of funding has raised $112.5 million, and the company claims that 90 percent came from Musk.
The Boring Company, borne out of Musk’s frustration with Los Angeles traffic in December 2016, told Recode that while Musk provided over $100 million of the funding, the rest came from early employees and there was no outside investors involved. The company has strong ties to Musk’s other projects: the commission filing names Jared Birchall as executive and director, and Steve Davis as executive. Birchall has also been named as CEO of Musk’s brain-computer interface startup Neuralink, while Davis is an engineer for Musk’s space exploration venture SpaceX.
Not content with digging tunnels, the company is also building metaphorical bridges with Musk’s other firms. The Boring Company started building a test tunnel on the SpaceX campus in Hawthorne, California, in June 2017, using its “Godot” machine named after the play Waiting for Godot. Concept videos show Tesla cars moving on sled-like systems at speed through The Boring Company’s tunnels, while future plans indicate support for hyperloop vacuum-sealed public transit.
Beyond internal funding rounds, The Boring Company has sold merchandise to get its initial projects started, an idea Musk claims was inspired by ‘80s science-fiction movie Spaceballs. This initially started with $20 hats — which quickly shot up to 10 times that price on eBay — before Musk expanded out into $500 flamethrowers. The company managed to meet a $1 million funding goal through the hats alone.
It may not be long before Musk reveals more about The Boring Company. He’s mentioned the firm’s pivotal role at Tesla during the latter firm’s first quarter earnings report this year, so more could be revealed during the next earnings call estimated to take place on May 2.
Hopefully The Boring Company can fulfil its promises and avoid turning into a money pit.