Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built a full-scale Hyperloop system, announced on Thursday that the Virgin Group has invested in the company to form a global strategic partnership. With this partnership, Richard Branson joined the board of directors and Hyperloop One will rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the coming months.
“For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit,” said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Hyperloop One. “Virgin is an iconic brand and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world. Josh and I could not think of a better person or brand to be our true partner in our continued quest to make our moonshot idea a reality. Onwards.”
“After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One.”
This global strategic partnership will focus on passenger and mixed-use cargo service in addition to the creation of a new passenger division. Depending on the market, other brands could be used globally as well. Following the successful test at its Nevada test track “DevLoop” this past summer, Hyperloop One continues to see a growing demand from governments and the private sector around the world with projects underway in the UAE, U.S., Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and India.
With Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo are loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Hyperloop One’s radically efficient and clean, all-electric technology is aligned with the Virgin Group’s purpose-driven mission to deliver more sustainable modes of transportation.
“We’ve focused on developing the technology required to make Hyperloop a reality and demonstrated that it works,” said Josh Giegel, co-founder and President of Engineering of Hyperloop One. “The combination of our proven technology and Virgin’s expertise in transportation, operations, safety and passenger experience will accelerate the commercialization phase of our company’s development. Together with Virgin, we will not only transform how we live, we will rethink how it feels to travel by creating a passenger experience that people will enjoy and look forward to riding. Our goal is to make travel fun again.”