Date
21 January 2018
Hyperloop One has named Richard Branson as board chairman after his group made significant investment in the firm which is developing a futuristic transportation system. Photo: Bloomberg
Hyperloop One has named Richard Branson as board chairman after his group made significant investment in the firm which is developing a futuristic transportation system. Photo: Bloomberg

Virgin Hyperloop One raises US$50 mln in new funding round

Futuristic transportation startup Virgin Hyperloop One announced that it has raised US$50 million (around HK$390 million) in a new round of funding from foreign investors.

The series C funding was led by venture capital investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World, which are based in Russia and Dubai respectively, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Earlier, in October, the startup raised US$85 million from several investors, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Following the Virgin investment and a strategic partnership, the company, which was formerly known as Hyperloop One, was renamed.

Branson has now been appointed chairman of the board.

Founded in June 2014, Hyperloop One has so far raised US$295 million in total.

The latest funding will help the company focus “on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects,” chief executive Rob Lloyd said in a statement.

Using electric propulsion, magnetic levitation and a low-pressure tube, Hyperloop can “[float] above the track” and then glide at airline speeds for long distances as a result of “ultra-low aerodynamic drag”, according to the startup’s website.

Virgin Hyperloop One set a test speed record of nearly 240 miles per hour (about 387 kilometers per hour) in its third phase of testing at a site in Nevada recently, according to Business Insider.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 20

Translation by Jonathan Chong with additional reporting 

[Chinese version 中文版]

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