Richard Branson is an English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. Mr. Branson is the seventh-wealthiest British billionaire by net worth.
On Thursday the billionaire placed another bet on the future with an investment in Hyperloop One, which is developing super high-speed transportation systems.
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 13, 2017
Hyperloop One said Branson’s Virgin Group would take the company global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the near future.
Branson has joined the board of Hyperloop One, which will develop pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of 250 miles per hour (402 km per hour).
The pod lifts above a track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to low aerodynamic drag.
Hyperloop One was originally conceptualized by Elon Musk. In July, Musk said he had received verbal approval to start building the systems that would link New York and Washington, cutting travel time to about half an hour.
Last month, Hyperloop One raised $85 million in new funding, bringing the total financing raised to $245 million since it was founded in 2014.
“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 Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport,” Virgin Group said in a statement.
Hyperloop One is also working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India, and Canada, according to the statement.
Hyperloop One, however, has not been without its own controversy. The company was embroiled in a messy lawsuit last year between its two founders. The lawsuit claimed Hyperloop One, Pishevar and other leaders mismanaged the company’s money, hired family members, and threatened cofounder Brogan BamBrogan.