Virgin's Richard Branson backs Hyperloop One

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic

The company will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One.

Sir Richard Branson has invested in the futuristic transportation technology Hyperloop, promising to build the "world's most revolutionary train service".

High-speed transportation company Hyperloop One, which landed $85 million in additional funding last month, revealed today that it has gained a new board member in business magnate Richard Branson, whose Virgin group was secretly responsible for an unnamed portion of that funding.

Virgin Group announced Thursday that it has invested in Hyperloop One, a startup that's working on constructing the high-speed transit system Elon Musk first outlined in a white paper in 2013.

Hyperloop One is headed by Shervin Pishevar, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist best known as an early investor in Uber. United States cities like Denver and Nevada have also submitted proposals for the construction of a Hyperloop.

The hyperloop works by propelling pods through tubes using magnets reaching speeds akin to those of airplanes.

The technology for Hyperloop One is now in the early stages of commercialisation, after the successful completion of the first full-scale hyperloop systems test.

In August, the Hyperloop traveled nearly the entire length of the track and reached a top speed of 192 miles per hour. The company still needs to demonstrate that the system could transport people on tracks long enough to connect cities.

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