Virgin Hyperloop One wins key DP World funding

Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson Chairman

In a statement, Virgin Hyperloop One said it had raised an additional $50 million ahead of a Series C round of funding with investments from Caspian Venture Capital and DP World.

Rob Lloyd, CEO, Virgin Hyperloop One, said the $50 million investment was made by existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World "who have been consistently supportive, and have backed the company in each of its funding rounds". Several companies have formed to make the Hyperloop vision a reality, but Virgin Hyperloop One has arguably come the closest.

But among publicly released hyperloop tests, the previous record holder was Elon Musk, with a speed of 220 miles per hour.

Seattle-based Pacific Hyperloop has been working with Hyperloop One as well as regional experts to try to gain support for a Seattle-to-Portland hyperloop project.

Virgin Hyperloop One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The company says the technology will allow train travel between NY and Washington in less than 30 minutes.

Virgin Group's Branson, who joined the board in October as part of an investment and partnership deal with the startup, will receive stock warrants to maintain his current stake through his investment vehicle, Corvina Holdings Ltd., according to the financial document.

Virgin Hyperloop One managed to beat Musk's record with a combination of two technologies: a vacuum capable of reducing air pressures to the level seen 200,000 feet above sea level, and magnetic levitation capable of eliminating friction between the hyperloop pod and the track.

In addition to revealing its latest investment by DP World, Virgin Hyperloop One also announced it had named British billionaire Richard Branson as its chairman.

Branson's move to become Virgin Hyperloop One chairman, replacing Pishevar, was essential to the company to obtaining the new financing, which first reported on the management change. Virgin Hyperloop One is also naming Richard Branson as chairman, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

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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.

Hyperloop intends to use these new funds, given by existing backers Caspian Venture Capital and DP World, to set itself up in new markets in Europe, the Middle East and Russian Federation.

The Hyperloop achieved a speed of 240mph in its testing facility in Nevada.

Such a system could go between Seattle and Portland in 20 minutes, or between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles in a little more than half an hour. Hyperloop One said in the past that it was adopting best safety practices from around the world, including taking an overall systems approach to safety in the system design.

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