Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson Chairman, raises US$50m

Virgin Hyperloop One XP-1

Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One completed the third phase of testing for the world's first working Hyperloop prototype, reaching 240 miles per hour, the company announced Monday.

"This investment provides Virgin Hyperloop One with a very robust financial platform for 2018 ahead of our Series C round of fundraising", said the company's chief executive Rob Lloyd.

Dubai's DP World and Russia's Caspian Venture Capital each contributed $25 million. They settled the suit that November, but BamBrogan launched a competing hyperloop company.

Virgin Hyperloop One is one of the companies working to bring the Hyperloop concept (originally detailed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk) to life.

Seattle-based Pacific Hyperloop has been working with Hyperloop One as well as regional experts to try to gain support for a Seattle-to-Portland hyperloop project.

Branson's appointment comes at a time when the company's co-founder Shervin Pishevar stepped down from the board of Hyperloop One following claims of sexual misconduct, though Pishevar denied the allegations.

Virgin Hyperloop One has also set a historic test speed record of almost 387 kilometres per hour during its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world's first full-scale hyperloop test site.

DP World and Magomedov's Caspian Venture Capital each now hold about 31 per cent of votes on a key committee responsible for Virgin Hyperloop One's finances.

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The company says the technology will allow train travel between NY and Washington in less than 30 minutes.

Hyperloop One has projects underway in the UAE, US, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and India.

Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, invested in the high-tech, high-speed transit system and joined the board of directors in October.

DP World, the world's fourth largest ports operator, has participated in the latest $50 million funding round for Virgin Hyperloop One, the futuristic transportation company, which appointed Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as its new chairman.

"I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new Chairman".

By combining magnetic levitation, extremely low aerodynamic drag, and the level of air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level, the system proved that it is capable of reaching airline speeds over long distances. Electricity-powered magnetic levitation lifts the pod above the track, and it can easily glide with little air resistance and using less energy, according to a press release. The technology could cut travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco to 43 minutes, according to the Hyperloop One website.

Virgin Hyperloop One confirmed the funding in an emailed statement Monday afternoon.

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