Richard Branson Joins Hyperloop Board

Richard Branson's Virgin Group has invested in Hyperloop One
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Virgin Hyperloop One

The technology for Hyperloop One is now in the early stages of the commercialisation phase after the successful completion of the world's first full scale hyperloop systems test at the DevLoop site outside Las Vegas.

Elon Musk has been given a helping hand from billionaire Richard Branson in developing his high-speed transport system, Hyperloop One.

Mr Branson joined a $85m funding round of Hyperloop One last month, which valued the company at more than $700m, according to Recode.

"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", said Branson.

Branson and his company, Virgin Group, are investing an undisclosed sum in the startup to kick off a new global partnership. He described the hyperloop concept as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table".

Hyperloop One is headed by Shervin Pishevar, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist best known as an early investor in Uber.

With Virgin Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo will be loaded into a pod and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube.

Hyperloop One announced the first successful full-systems test in July. "We're incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers' lives". The company was embroiled in a messy lawsuit past year between its two founders.

Meanwhile, Musk is now working part-time on a similar project, called The Boring Company. Musk tweeted that he had "verbal government approvals" to build an underground tunnel from NY to Washington DC through his start-up The Boring Company, although he did not, in fact, have formal approval from any relevant government body.

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