Hyperloop One bags $50m funding with Richard Branson named as chair

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The startup was renamed from Hyperloop One to Virgin Hyperloop One.

Virgin Hyperloop One has completed its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world's first full-scale hyperloop test site, achieving historic test speeds of 387 km/h (240mph).

During this phase of testing, the company experimented with using a new airlock that helps test pods transition between atmospheric and vacuum conditions.

A 28-foot-long pod was placed into a 1,600-foot-long concrete test tube, which was depressurized to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level.

Virgin Hyperloop One and Musk's Boring Company are both developing hyperloop transportation, a supersonic underground technology that was first envisioned by Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

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"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".

The elevation to a leadership position comes after the firm's co-executive chairman and co-founder Shervin Pishevar took a leave of absence in the wake of sexual assault allegations. "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". Hyperloop trains are expected to be used for cargo transport before moving passengers.

On a technological level, the company also announced some progress. That follows an earlier investment from Branson's Virgin Group.

The company, formerly Hyperloop One, changed its name following an investment from billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin conglomerate known for ventures in media, travel and health care.

Pishevar has denied the charges, and said he resigned to focus on a lawsuit against Definers Public Affairs, a firm he accused of promoting a smear campaign against him. "I have not spoken to any reporters about Mr. Pishevar or any aspect of his life, including his personal, business, or political life".