Richard Branson takes another bet on the future with Hyperloop One

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

Jalopnik reported last month that a proposed route in Colorado that Hyperloop One is interested in could cost at least $24 billion.

In a blog post that describes the transport initiative as "the world's most revolutionary train service", Branson says Hyperloop is "an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground".

Building a futuristic hyperloop system won't be cheap, so startup Hyperloop One's surely feeling good today, after it announced billionaire Richard Branson had made an investment in its endeavor.

Josh Giegel, co-founder of Hyperloop One, said "the combination of our proven technology and Virgin's expertise in transportation, operations, safety and passenger experience will accelerate the commercialisation phase of our company's development".

"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 Branson.

Virgin's plan is to focus on using Hyperloop One to transport passengers and cargo. The Los Angeles-based startup is conducting feasibility studies in Dubai and Finland for the transit system.

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

The technology is now being tested at the DevLoop site, just outside Las Vegas.

The entire field was shaken by the announcement in July that Elon Musk meant to build his own Hyperloop after all.

Virgin's investment is part of the $85 million Hyperloop raised in September, which included backing from global container-terminal operator DP World, Caspian VC Partners, and WTI. The company was embroiled in a messy lawsuit past year between its two founders.

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

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