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London Tech Week

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company pockets $675M at $5.6B valuation to solve traffic congestions

The Boring Company
Image credits: The Boring Company

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company announced on Thursday that it has secured $675M in a Series C funding round led by Vy Capital and Sequoia Capital

Other investors, including Valor Equity Partners, Founders Fund, 8VC, Craft Ventures, and DFJ Growth, participated. The latest funding round now values The Boring Company at $5.6B. 

The funding will enable The Boring Company to accelerate hiring across engineering, operations, and production to build and scale Loop projects, including Vegas Loop and others. 

Further, the capital will be used to speed up the research and development of Prufrock and future products.

What does TBC solve?

Elon Musk founded The Boring Company in 2016 with the aim to dig tunnels efficiently to facilitate an underground transportation network. Tunnels, choice of TBC, minimise the usage of valuable surface land and do not conflict with existing transportation systems, he says.

According to the company, tunnels are weatherproof and a large network of tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew. 

The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more, and this is the goal of The Boring Company. The company’s mission is to solve traffic, beautify cities and enable rapid point-to-point transportation. 

“Defeating traffic is the ultimate boss battle. Even the most powerful humans in the world cannot defeat traffic,” says Elon Musk.

How does it solve traffic congestion?

According to Musk, TBC has spent the last five years building core technologies through Loop and Hyperloop.

For the starter, Loop is an all-electric, high-speed underground transportation system in which passengers are transported to their destination without any intermediate stops. 

Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop

The company has completed a loop system for Las Vegas Convention Center to shuttle the visitors underneath. 

According to the company, the LVCC Loop system, a three-station transportation system consisting of 1.7 miles of tunnel, was built in approximately one year. LVCC Loop’s cost was approximately $47M for the two tunnels and three stations. 

LVCC Loop opened in April 2021 for the Mecum Motorcycle Auction and has operated at all subsequent conventions.

At CES 2022, LVCC Loop transported between 14,000 and 17,000 passengers per day, with an average ride time of less than two minutes and an average wait time of less than 15 seconds, claims the company. 

Image credits: The Boring Company

Project Vegas Loop

The Boring Company’s first Loop project, Vegas Loop, is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last October, the Clark County Commissioners approved Vegas Loop, a 29-mile tunnel network connecting 51 stations. 

Vegas Loop is targeting a throughput of up to 57,000 passengers per hour. For end-users, this means a trip from Harry Reid International Airport to any major destination on the Las Vegas strip in 5 minutes or less with zero stops. 

Notably, Vegas Loop is enabled by TBC’s proprietary tunnel boring machine called Prufrock.

Image credits: The Boring Company

What exactly is Prufrock?

Prufrock is a tunnel boring machine designed to construct mega-infrastructure projects in weeks instead of years and at a fraction of the cost. 

The current iteration of Prufrock, called Prufrock-2, is designed to mine up to 1 mile/week. On top of that, Prufrock-3 is designed to be even faster, with the medium-term goal of 1/10 human walking speed, or 7 miles/day. 

“If each Prufrock-2 mines at 1 mile/week, and TBC produces 1 new Prufrock machine per month, then TBC will be introducing 600 miles/year of capacity. As a point of reference, less than 20 miles of underground subway tunnel has been constructed in the United States in the last 20 years,” writes the company in the press release. 

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