Tunnels, baby. Here come the Elon Musk Tunnels.
The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunnel-digging venture that used to dabble in electric skate transport, just raised $120 million in venture capital funding, as first reported by Bloomberg. This is the company’s first outside investment, following its first commercial contract: a $48.6 million tunnel underneath the Las Vegas convention center to move glorified cars.
The Verge has more details on who invested in this company:
The $120 million was raised by selling Boring Company stock, and according to a spokesperson, buyers are early-stage venture firms 8VC and Craft Ventures, Vy Capital from the United Arab Emirates, Valor Capital, and DFJ — the firm Jurvetson was ousted from in 2017. The new funding more than doubles the amount of money generated by the tunneling startup so far. The company raised $113 million last year, though 90 percent of that came from Musk himself. (Musk has also, notably, sold merch to fund The Boring Company, like flamethrowers.)
The investor logic here, at least as outlined by Steve Jurvetson, Musk’s long-time friend and investor in all of his companies—which is definitely not a low-key indicator of how this company got $120 million in investment, no sir—is pretty much that tunneling is an old industry dominated by old companies and therefore ripe for #disruption:
“The four-largest tunnel companies in the U.S. were founded in the 1800s,” Jurvetson said. “Like the automotive and aerospace sectors, they haven’t faced a disruptive new entrant in their management’s collective life-time.”
You see, tunnel-diggers have gotten too complacent, down there in their tunnels, avoiding natural light, deprived of Vitamin D, slowly withering away from a lack of sustenance. Someone with a few hundred million dollars in capital ought to go down there and show them a thing or two about digging, because having money makes you an expert in all things.
Or, perhaps, the problem is not that we are slow or bad at digging tunnels with ridiculously-advanced tunnel boring machines, but that democracies have erected cumbersome and oftentimes grossly inefficient regulatory processes to ensure people’s property isn’t damaged or otherwise have our delicate ecosystem disturbed by a massive tunnel underneath them.
No, it can’t be that. Everyone else is just stupid dinosaurs from the 1800s. That must be it.