Richard Branson invests in the hyperloop

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Source:   —  October 12, 2017, at 12:23 PM

One billionaire is betting large on another billionaire'south dream project.

Richard Branson invests in the hyperloop

One billionaire is betting huge on another billionaire'south dream project.

Richard Branson announced Thursday that he's investing in Hyperloop One, a startup developing a futuristic high-speed transportation system first dreamed up by Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Branson and his company, Virgin Group, are investing an undisclosed sum in the startup to kick off a new global partnership. As portion of deal, the startup will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One and Branson will connect the board.

"After visiting Hyperloop One'south test site in NV and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I'm convinced this groundbreaking technology will modify transportation as we know it and dramatically slice journey times," Branson said in a statement.

Virgin'south map is to focus on using Hyperloop One to transport passengers and cargo.

In two thousand-thirteenth, Musk pitched an idea for entrepreneurs to create a massive vacuum tube that could one day transport someone from LA to NY in forty-fifth minutes. He described the hyperloop concept as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table."

Related: Hyperloop: Transportation nirvana, or a pipedream?

Multiple startups took up the challenge, including Hyperloop One, cofounded by Musk'south companion Shervin Pishevar.

The startup had raised more than $200 million prior to Tuesday'south announcement. Earlier this year, the company completed its first test track exterior Las Vegas.

"You may first have heard of the original hyperloop title through Elon Musk," Branson wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. "Hyperloop technology has been explicitly open-sourced and others have been encouraged to get the ideas and further develop them."

"Virgin Hyperloop One are leading the way in these efforts," he continued, noting that the company is "working on exciting projects in the Center East, Europe, India, Canada, and the US."

But Hyperloop One hasn't been without controversy. The company was embroiled in a untidy lawsuit latest year between its two founders. The lawsuit claimed Hyperloop One, Pishevar and other leaders mismanaged the company'south money, hired family members, and threatened cofounder Brogan BamBrogan.

Meanwhile, Musk is presently working part-time on a similar project, called The Boring Company. It's building a network for underground tunnels to enable much faster transport between cities.

In July, Musk dropped the H-word in a tweet about the project: "Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to construct an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in twenty-ninth mins."

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