Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles-based startup that created worldwide buzz earlier this year will now be known as Virgin Hyperloop One, following a rich investment from VirginGroup and founder Richard Branson.
Hyperloop One announced today that a significant investment from Branson and Virgin Group has led to the rebranding and creation of a “strategic partnership” that sees Branson join Hyperloop One’s board of directors. Last month, Hypleroop One raised $85 million in new funding, and that includes the investment from Virgin, but Branson refused to provide numbers.
“After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times,” Branson said in a statement. “Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One.”
Virgin Hyperloop One has stated it will continue to develop passenger and cargo services. Hyperloop One has already achieved speeds nearing 200mph during its second testing phase this past July. With the investment and backing of Virgin – Virgin Hyperloop One will continue to develop and work toward its theoretical speed goal nearing 700mph. Virgin has long been a player in transportation space, specifically investing in more futuristic modes of travel beyond their ownership in airlines, cruise ships and rail franchises, Virgin Galactic is currently developing the world’s first commercial “spaceline.”
The next round of testing for Virgin Hyperloop One is rumored to begin sometime this fall.
“For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit,” Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One. “Virgin is an iconic brand and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world.”
The investment from Branson and Virgin sets Virgin Hyperloop One back at the forefront as other companies continue to develop and work on similar concepts. Elon Musk, who first pitched the idea of a highspeed hyperloop all the way back in 2013, has stated that, The Boring Company, has received preliminary “verbal government approval” to construct a hyperloop system between New York City and Washington, D.C. Additionally, Arrivo and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies are also working to advance similar projects.