Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Virgin Hyperloop One wins key DP World funding

Virgin Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built a full-scale hyperloop system, said it has secured an additional $50 million funding from its key investors Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World and Caspian Venture Capital ahead of its Series C round of funding.

Also the company has named British billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group Richard Branson as its new chairman (non-executive).

In another major development, Virgin Hyperloop One recently completed its third phase of testing achieving historic test speeds of 387 kilometers per hour.

On the appointment, the company said as the founder of Virgin Group, Branson brings with him an unparalleled proven track record in delivering technology breakthroughs and transformative experiences in air, rail, and space transportation.

Branson joined the Virgin Hyperloop One board of directors in October after Virgin Group invested in the company and formed a global strategic partnership. The company is in the process of rebranding itself Virgin Hyperloop One, said the US-based firm in a statement.

On his new role, Branson said: "I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new chairman. The recent $50 million investment sets up the company to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, and Russia as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems."

The investment was made by its existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World who have been consistently supportive investors and have backed the company in each of its funding rounds, he stated.

Virgin Hyperloop One's CEO Rob Lloyd said with this, the total financing raised by Virgin Hyperloop One has risen to $295 million since its founding three years back.

"This investment provides Virgin Hyperloop One with a very robust financial platform for 2018 ahead of our Series C round of fundraising. We are so proud to have investors who consistently step-up to support our company and our vision," observed Lloyd.

"We continue to see extremely strong interest from world leaders globally looking to embrace hyperloop to address critical infrastructure challenges. Our focus in 2018 will be on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects," he added.

New speed record

Meanwhile, Virgin Hyperloop One has set a historic test speed record of nearly 387 km per hour (107 m per second) during its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world's first full-scale hyperloop test site.

The company achieved faster speeds and tested a new airlock which helps transition test pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions during its latest test campaign which was completed last week, said the company in a statement.

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 tests were conducted in a tube depressurized down to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 ft above sea level. A Virgin Hyperloop One pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag, it stated.

Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop One's co-founder and chief technology officer, said: "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."

"The continued support from our existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World highlight their adamant belief in our ability to execute," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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