Virgin Hyperloop One raises $50 million, appoints Branson as Chairman
Virgin Hyperloop One successfully raise $50 million investment, name Richard Branson Chairman and achieve a new test speed record in the third phase of tests…
Virgin Hyperloop One has named Richard Branson as Chairman (non-executive) whilst raising an additional $50 million ahead of its Series C round of funding with investments from Caspian Venture Capital and DP World. The company has also completed its third phase of testing accomplishing historic test speeds of 387km/h.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, will become the Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One. To the company he brings an unparalleled proven track record in delivering technological breakthroughs and transformative experiences in air, rail and space transportation. After Virgin Group invested in the company and formed a global strategic partnership, Branson joined the Virgin Hyperloop One board of directors in October 2017.
“I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new chairman,” said Richard Branson. “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; developing game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems.”
The investment brings the total financing raised by Virgin Hyperloop One to $295 million since its founding in 2014.
“This investment provides Virgin Hyperloop One with a very robust financial platform for 2018, ahead of our Series C round of fundraising. We are appreciative to the investors who consistently step-up to support our company and our vision,” said Virgin Hyperloop One’s CEO Rob Lloyd. “We continue to see extremely strong interest from world leaders globally looking to embrace hyperloop to address critical infrastructure challenges. Our focus in 2018 will be on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects.”
Virgin Hyperloop One set a historic test speed record of nearly 387km/h (240mph) during its third phase of testing at DevLoop; the world’s first full-scale hyperloop test site. The company achieved faster speeds and tested a new airlock which helped transition test pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions.
All components of the system were successfully tested including the airlock, a highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension and the vacuum. The tests were conducted in a tube depressurised down to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000ft above sea level. 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.
“The recent phase three testing continues to prove the incredible persistence and determination of our DevLoop team; approximately 200 engineers, machinists, welders and fabricators who collaborated to make hyperloop a reality today,” said Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop One’s co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “The continued support from our existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World highlight their adamant belief in our ability to execute.”