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Hyperloop One becomes 'Virgin Hyperloop One' with Virgin Group investment

12 October 2017

Mr Branson joined a $85m funding round of Hyperloop One last month, which valued the company at more than $700m, according to Recode. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is investing in the super fast transport system and will be joining Hyperloop One's board of directors, the two companies announced today.

"This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground", Branson said on Virgin Group's website.

Hyperloop trains work by loading passengers and cargo on to a pod which is accelerated to speeds of nearly 700mph inside a sealed low-pressure tube using electric propulsion.

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Its tracks use magnetic levitation and the pod glides at airline speeds for long distances. "This is just the latest example", Branson said in a statement. Virgin Hyperloop One will also be all-electric.

Hyperloop One, which has previously raised more than $160 million, is working to develop a pod system that can travel at up to 750 miles per hour with better safety than passenger jets, and lower build and maintenance costs than high-speed trains.

Hyperloop One is developing a system theorized by entrepreneur Elon Musk for rail transport at near-supersonic speeds, and in August announced that a test of full hyperloop system at its private facility in the desert near Las Vegas was a success, hitting record speeds.

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He said that the operation was only in the "early stages" of commercial development, but that he was looking forward to creating a global passenger service. "Let's say you build a little island just off that port, where instead of bringing all these cargo boats into this attractive country, you just dump all this stuff on this island and then you whisk it by Hyperloop under the port, inland so the lorries don't have to come anywhere near your big, pristine port area".

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Hyperloop One becomes 'Virgin Hyperloop One' with Virgin Group investment