Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson Chairman, raises $50 million

20 December, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Hyperloop One prototype

It was also revealed that the company has had an additional $50m in new finance poured into its coffers, making a total of $295m (£220.6m) in investment since the project's founding in 2014. Under the terms of the funding, Virgin Hyperloop One will allocate 3.5 percent of revenue from each of its first three contracts to DP World and Caspian Venture Capital for their "support" and "in promoting the company's business". Definers recently filed a motion to have the, contending that its files show no evidence to any work related to the investor.

During these tests, the system clocked a lightning-fast speed of almost 387 kmh (240 mph), breaking the 355 kmh (220 mph) hyperloop speed record set by Elon Musk's hyperloop in August.

"I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new Chairman", said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One.

Virgin Hyperloop One has not conducted a public test at its site since May 2016. DP World's CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem also holds a board seat in the startup.

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

Virgin Hyperloop One named Branson chairman and announced that it raised another $50 million.

Richard Branson and Elon Musk
Richard Branson and Elon Musk

Hyperloop One rebranded as Virgin Hyperloop One in October after Virgin Group invested in the firm and Branson joined its board of directors. "Our focus in 2018 will be on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects", said Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. All components of the system were tested including the airlock, highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension, and the vacuum.

Shervin Pishevar, was one of the founders of Hyperloop One and its co-executive chairman, but took a leave of absence from the company as well as his own venture capital firm in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

The test was performed in a complete hyperloop system with a working pod and the tube depressurized down to "the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level".

In the previous phase of testing, they had achieved a top speed of 192 mph (310 km an hour). Electricity-powered magnetic levitation lifts the pod above the track, and it can easily glide with little air resistance and using less energy, according to a press release.

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.

Hyperloops are still years or decades from ever transporting their first passengers, but that doesn't mean a few companies aren't still working on improving the design.



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