Richard Branson made Hyperloop One chairman, DP World ups investment
Sir Richard Branson has been named as the chairman of the re-branded Virgin Hyperloop One, while DP World has committed a further US $25-million to the project during another round of funding.
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.
"I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new chairman," said Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One.
"The recent investment by our partners Caspian Venture Capital and DP World sets up the company to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, and Russia as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems," he added.
Josh Giegel, co-founder and chief technology officer, Virgin Hyperloop One, said the company was now examining the next phase of its evolution. “With a new chairman on-board, new funding and new records that prove that our technology is at a further state of readiness, we are poised for the next phase of evolution – commercialisation,” he said.
Virgin Hyperloop One is a start-up trying to develop a futuristic, tube-based transportation system. While there are plans to build a line between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, cutting down the transport time between the two cities to just a few minutes, DP World is also interested in its freight hauling potential.
"DP World is a believer in innovation that brings added value to the way we do business and for our customers. Supporting the work of Virgin Hyperloop One is part of our continued efforts to think ahead and plan for change and these kind of disruptive technologies have great potential,” a spokesperson from the port operator said.
This investment brings the total financing raised by Virgin Hyperloop One to $295 million since the company's founding in 2014 and comes just days after it completed a third phase of multi-week testing at the DevLoop test site, which yielded historic test speeds of 387 kilometres per hour.
The world record for manned passenger trains is held by the L0 Series, having achieved 603 km/h (375 mph) on a 42.8 km magnetic-levitation track in April 2015.
The world record for conventional wheeled manned passenger trains is held by France's specially tuned TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse). Reduced to three cars with higher voltage, larger wheels and higher-tension pantograph wires, it broke the world record in April 2007, reaching 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on a 140 km section of track.