Virgin Hyperloop One raises $50m, puts Branson in the driver's seat

Finding the right idea

Hyperloop One bags $50m funding with Richard Branson named as chair

The company develops super high-speed transportation systems which are expected to cut travel time between NY and Washington to about half an hour.

Hyperloop One has said it plans to work towards having three Hyperloop systems in service by 2021. According to the Hyperloop One website, the company has raised $295 million since its founding in 2014. Building a working hyperloop is obviously a cash-intensive process, and one that's still likely at least a few years away from being a revenue-generating operation, so it's natural to expect it to require a steady stream of inbound venture cash to keep things humming away.

Branson's Virgin Group invested an undisclosed amount in Hyperloop One in October as part of an $85m funding. Using magnetic levitation, the pod that the company hopes to one day fill with people and cargo attained 240 miles per hour - a new speed record for the company.

"A Virgin Hyperloop One pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag", the company states.

In August, the company claimed that its prototype pod had logged 192mph on the test track.

In the latest display of the U.A.E.'s interest in hyperloop technology, Dubai-based port operator DP World has once again invested into USA -based startup Virgin Hyperloop One, this time as part of a $50 million round alongside Cyprus-based Caspian Venture Capital.

Kelly Sullivan | Getty Images
Kelly Sullivan | Getty Images

Virgin Hyperloop One named Branson chairman and announced that it raised another $50 million. Hyperloop One's co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic, Branson's space company.

If it comes to fruition, Hyperloop has the potential to revolutionize transportation around the world.

Hyperloop clams its technology could reduce the time taken to travel between London and Edinburgh to just 50 minutes.

In October, Virgin Hyperloop One received US$85m from several investors, including Branson's Virgin Group (resulting in the company's name change from Hyperloop One).

Unlike Musk's challenging vision for a high-speed electric train thrust at supersonic speeds on a pocket of air through a depressurized tube, Hyperloop One's prototype leverages existing magnetic-levitation technology.

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