Hyperloop One aims for full-scale test with new $50 million financing
Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One, which is developing technology for a futuristic transit system, said it had raised an additional $50 million as it prepares for a full-scale test of a Hyperloop system in the first quarter of 2017.
A Hyperloop involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods could shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).
The concept originated in a paper by Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk in 2013, who envisioned it whisking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
Hyperloop One got its latest round of funding from DP World Group of Dubai. The $50 million takes its total funding to $160 million.
DP World Group, whose chief executive is also joining Hyperloop One’s board, signed an agreement with the company in August to explore a Hyperloop system to move containers from ships docked at its flagship Port of Jebel Ali to a new inland container depot in Dubai.
Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One has previously got funding from the likes of 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, the French National Rail Company and GE Ventures.
Former Uber [UBER.UL] Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos was also appointed as a full-time adviser to Hyperloop One Chief Executive Rob Lloyd and the board.
There are currently no functioning Hyperloops anywhere in the world, and skeptics wonder if the technology can ever make the leap from science fiction to reality.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)