Virgin Hyperloop One raises $50M, names Richard Branson as chairman


Richard Branson, right, founder of the Virgin Group, will become the Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One.

Virgin Hyperloop One aims to build a Hyperloop in the image of a system imagined by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk-a system of pods on air bearings speeding through low-pressure tubes at 760mph.

Virgin Hyperloop One did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Musk recently tweeted that 10 purchasers of a hat bearing his company logo will be "picked at random" to tour his hyperloop tunnel in Los Angeles and drive his boring machine.

DP Worlds' plans are potentially only the tip of the iceberg-the also in the running to get the world's first completed hyperloop system. The company also tested a new airlock created to transition pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions.

In August, the company claimed that its prototype pod had logged 192mph on the test track.

"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 Russian Federation as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems", Branson said in a statement.

And the appointment comes with promise of $50m new cash from other existing investors, Russian firm Caspian Venture Capital whose founder Ziyavudin Magomedov had been named co-executive chairman in October, and Dubai's DP World.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group invested in the company, resulting in a name change from Hyperloop One. "All components of the system were successfully tested including the airlock, highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension, and the vacuum".

"The recent phase three testing continues to prove the incredible persistence and determination of our DevLoop team - the close to 200 engineers, machinists, welders, and fabricators who collaborated to make hyperloop a reality today".

Hyperloop clams its technology could reduce the time taken to travel between London and Edinburgh to just 50 minutes.

On a technological level, the company also announced some progress.