Virgin announces Hyperloop One investment

Hyperloop One raised an $85 million round at a valuation that tops $700 million

Richard Branson: I'll be disappointed if I'm not in space in six months

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson predicts he will travel in space before he ever becomes a passenger on a hyperloop.

Virgin Group has invested in Hyperloop One and rebranded the company Virgin Hyperloop One.

The Hyperloop is a nascent transportation system that works by shooting pods through a vacuumed-sealed tube at speeds that experts say could reach 700 miles per hour.

In 2013, Musk pitched an idea for entrepreneurs to create a massive vacuum tube that could one day transport someone from Los Angeles to NY in 45 minutes.

Sir Richard has led an $85m (£65m) investment in Hyperloop One, a California-based company that is the first to successfully test the high-speed magnetic levitation technology. He described the hyperloop concept as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table". Branson noted in a blog post that he also visited Hyperloop One earlier this summer to view its technology first-hand, at the Hyperloop One DevLoop test track site in Nevada outside Los Vegas. We're not going to be talking about "Hyperloop One" anymore because the company has a new name.

The idea of a Hyperloop has been around for half a decade now.

Virgin Hyperloop One is eyeing projects across the world, from the Middle East to the United States.

But Hyperloop One has not been without controversy.

Port colossus DP World Group of Dubai a year ago invested in the concept, joining backers including French national rail company SNCF, US industrial conglomerate General Electric and Russian state fund RDIF. Among all of the honey pots Virgin has dipped its hand in over the years are ventures in travel, commercial spaceflight, and commercial aviation, so Virgin has been around the block a few times when it comes to getting people from point A to point B. We'll see just how much of an asset Virgin's know-how is to the development of Hyperloop One soon enough, so stay tuned.

Branson said the company was working on "exciting projects" around the world but no lines have been confirmed as yet.

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