Virgin Hyperloop One
Los Angeles, Calif.
Number of employees
|280 (Q2 2017)|
Virgin Hyperloop One formerly known as Hyperloop One, is an American transportation technology company that was formed in 2014, and reorganized and renamed in 2017, working to commercialize the high-speed technology concept called Hyperloop. Hyperloop systems are intended to move passengers and/or cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel. The concept of Hyperloop transportation was first introduced by Elon Musk in August 2013.
The original Hyperloop concept uses a linear electric motor to accelerate and decelerate an electromagnetically levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle will glide silently for miles at speeds up to 670 mph (1080 km/h) with no turbulence. The system is designed to be entirely autonomous, quiet, direct-to-destination, and on-demand. Additionally, as Hyperloop is built on columns or tunneled underground, it eliminates the dangers of at-grade crossings and requires much smaller rights of way than high-speed rail or a highway. Virgin Hyperloop One has made substantive technical changes to Musk's initial proposal and chose not to pursue the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles notional route that Musk envisioned in his 2013 alpha-design white paper.
The company had raised $295 million by December 2017 and demonstrated a form of propulsion technology in May 2016 at its test site north of Las Vegas. Hyperloop One has completed a 500-meter Development Loop (DevLoop) in North Las Vegas and in May 2017, held its first full-scale Hyperloop test. The test combined Hyperloop components including vacuum, propulsion, levitation, sled, control systems, tube, and structures.
Its publicly stated goal is to deliver a fully operational Hyperloop system by 2021.
The idea for Hyperloop One emerged from a conversation between Elon Musk and Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar when they were flying together to Cuba on a humanitarian mission in January 2012. Pishevar asked Musk to elaborate on his Hyperloop idea, which the industrialist had been mulling over for some time. Pishevar suggested using it for cargo, an idea Musk hadn’t considered, but he did say he was considering open-sourcing the concept because he was too busy running SpaceX and Tesla. Pishevar pushed Musk to publish his ideas about the Hyperloop, so that Pishevar could study them.
In August 2013, Musk released the Hyperloop Alpha white paper, generating widespread attention and enthusiasm. In the months that followed Pishevar incorporated Hyperloop Technologies, which would later be renamed Hyperloop One, and recruited the first board members, including David O. Sacks, Jim Messina and Joe Lonsdale. Pishevar also recruited a cofounder, a former SpaceX engineer named Brogan Bambrogan. Hyperloop Technologies set up shop in Bambrogan’s garage in Los Angeles in November 2014. By January 2015, Hyperloop Tech had raised $9 million in venture capital from Pishevar's Sherpa Capital and investors such as Formation 8 and Zhen Fund, and was able to move into its current campus in the Los Angeles Arts District. FORBES magazine put Hyperloop Tech on its February 2015 cover, landing the startup lots of fresh recruits and new investor interest. In June 2015, Pishevar recruited former Cisco president Rob Lloyd as an investor and, eventually, the company's CEO.
Between June 2015 and December 2015, the company continued to hire engineers and expand its downtown campus (now up to 75,000 square feet). In December 2015, the renamed Hyperloop One announced it would hold an open-air propulsion test at a new Test and Safety Site in Nevada. At the time, the company disclosed it had raised $37 million in financing to date and was completing a Series B round of $80m, which they closed on in May 2016. In October 2016, Hyperloop One announced that it had raised another $50 million, led by an investment from DP World.
The propulsion open-air test, or POAT, was successfully held in Nevada on May 9, 2016. The POAT sled accelerated to 134 mph (216 km/h) in 2.3 seconds, representing a crucial proof of concept. At the time Hyperloop One announced it had secured partnerships with global engineering and design firms such as AECOM, SYSTRA, Arup, Deutsche Bahn, General Electric, and Bjarke Ingels.
In late July 2016, Hyperloop One opened a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) tooling and machine shop called Metalworks in North Las Vegas, Nevada, where it fabricates the parts for its nearby test track, called Devloop.
In May 2017, Hyperloop One tested a full-scale Hyperloop. The system-wide test integrated Hyperloop components including vacuum, propulsion, levitation, sled, control systems, tube, and structures.
On July 12, 2017, the company revealed images of its first generation pod prototype to be used at the DevLoop test site in Nevada to test aerodynamics. On August 2, 2017, Hyperloop One successfully tested its XP-1 passenger pod, reaching speeds of up to 192 mph (309 km/h). It traveled for just over 980 ft (300 m) before the brakes kicked in and it rolled to a stop.
Announced on October 12, 2017, Hyperloop One and the Virgin Group developed a strategic investment partnership, resulting in Richard Branson joining the board of directors. The global strategic partnership will focus on passenger and mixed-use cargo service in addition to the creation of a new passenger division. Subsequently, Hyperloop One was renamed Virgin Hyperloop One, and Branson became the chairman of the board of directors.
Hyperloop One has raised $245 million to date. Its investors include Sherpa Capital, Formation 8, 137 Ventures, DP World, Khosla Ventures, Caspian Venture Capital, Fast Digital, Western Technology Investment, Zhen Fund, GE Ventures, and SNCF.
In October 2018, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia walked away from a planned US$1 billion investment in Hyperloop and other Virgin companies.
As of July 2018[update], the board of directors include Richard Branson (Chairman), Justin Fishner-Wolfson, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Rob Lloyd, Josh Giegel, Bill Shor, Yuvraj Narayan, Anatoly Braverman, and Emily White as a strategic adviser. Former board members include Peter Diamandis, Jim Messina who as of July 2018 serves as strategic adviser, former Morgan Stanley executive Jim Rosenthal, Joe Lonsdale, the co-founder Shervin Pishevar, who took a leave of absence from Hyperloop One in December 2017 after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, and Ziyavudin Magomedov, Russian billionaire arrested on embezzlement charges in 2018. In November 2018, Richard Branson was replaced as chairman by Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
In June 2016 the company announced a memorandum of understanding with the Summa Group and the Russian Government to construct a Hyperloop in Moscow and has since completed two feasibility studies – one in Moscow and one in the Far East.
In August 2016, Hyperloop One announced a deal with the world's third largest ports operator, DP World, to develop a cargo offloader system at DP World's flagship port of Jebel Ali in Dubai.
On November 8, 2016, Hyperloop One announced it had signed a deal with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to conduct a number of feasibility studies on potential passenger and cargo Hyperloop routes in the United Arab Emirates.
By April 2017, Hyperloop One had feasibility studies underway in the United Arab Emirates, Finland and Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Moscow, and the UK.
Hyperloop One Global Challenge
In 2016, Hyperloop One launched its Hyperloop One Global Challenge to find the locations for, and develop and construct, the world’s first Hyperloop networks. In January 2017, Hyperloop One announced the 35 semifinalist routes (spread over 17 countries) in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. Hyperloop One held a series of events showcasing the semifinalists, Vision for India in February, Vision for America in April and Vision for Europe in June. On September 14, 2017, Hyperloop One announced the 10 winners for the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. The countries with teams that won include the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, and India. The winners will now be invited to work closely with Hyperloop One on viability studies to try and bring their respective loops from proposal to reality.
The ten winning routes that were selected are:
|1||United States||Chicago to Columbus to Pittsburgh|
|2||Dallas to Laredo to Houston|
|3||Cheyenne to Denver to Pueblo|
|4||Miami to Orlando|
|5||Canada||Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal|
|6||Mexico||Mexico City to Guadalajara|
|7||United Kingdom||Edinburgh to London|
|8||Glasgow to Liverpool|
|9||India||Bengaluru (Bangalore) to Chennai|
|10||Mumbai to Chennai|
In July 2016, the CTO and co-founder Brogan BamBrogan left the company, later filing a lawsuit with three other former employees alleging breach of fiduciary duty and misuse of corporate resources. On July 19, 2016, Hyperloop One filed a countersuit against the four former employees, alleging they staged a failed coup of the company, in the process breaching agreements around fiduciary duty, non-competes, proprietary information and non-disparagement, as well as intentional interference with contractual relations. On November 18, 2016, both parties agreed to settle the lawsuit. Terms were confidential and not disclosed. BamBrogan and other former Hyperloop One and SpaceX employees went on to found Arrivo, a competing hyperloop company.
- "Fact Sheet And FAQ". hyperloop | one. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
- Lloyd, Robert. "Hyperloop One CEO Says 'We Can Do This in the U.S.'". YouTube. Bloomberg Technology. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
- "New Chairman, New Funding, & New Speed Records". Hyperloop One. Archived from the original on 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
- "Hyperloop". SpaceX. Space Exploration Technologies. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- "Hyperloop One web site". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- "Hyperloop Futuristic Transportation System Has Its 1st Public Demo". NPR. May 11, 2016. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- "Photos: Hyperloop One Shows Off 'DevLoop' Test Tube in Nevada". Inverse. March 7, 2017. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop's first real test is a whooshing success". Wired. July 12, 2017. Archived from the original on July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Co-founders of Hyperloop One on their first successful full-scale test run". CBS News. July 12, 2017. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop Is Real: Meet The Startups Selling Supersonic Travel". Forbes. February 11, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Hyperloop Is Real: Meet The Startups Selling Supersonic Travel". US: Forbes. February 11, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Singleton, Micah (February 11, 2015). "Hyperloop Technologies is trying to make Elon Musk's dream a reality". The Verge. US. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- "Hyperloop Technologies Inc. Announces Land Deal For Propulsion Open Air Test in North Las Vegas, Nevada". Business Wire. Archived from the original on 2016-11-16. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
- Walker, Alissa (May 10, 2016). "Here's What the First Full-Scale Test of the Hyperloop Will Look Like [Updated]". Gizmodo. US: Gawker Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- "Hyperloop One wins backing from DP World". Archived from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
- "0 to 400 mph in mere seconds: Welcome to the age of hyperloop". USA Today. May 11, 2016. Archived from the original on July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Davis, Matthew (July 28, 2016). "Hyperloop One has begun producing parts for a full-scale prototype". The Verge. US. Archived from the original on July 29, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
- "Hyperloop One: images of the first Hyperloop full scale test track released". Electrek.co. March 7, 2017. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One releases "comprehensive concept design" for high-speed rail in Dubai". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- Walker, Alissa (July 12, 2017). "Hyperloop One reveals full-size prototype of its shiny new pod design". Curbed. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One's passenger pod takes its first ride". Engadget. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One Is Now 'Virgin Hyperloop One' Thanks to Richard Branson's Investment". Fortune. October 12, 2017. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- Ferenchik, Mark (19 July 2018). "Regional planners pitch 13-mile test of Virgin Hyperloop". ColumbusDispatch. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- Tilley, Aaron (May 11, 2016). "Hyperloop One Announces Key Partnerships, $80 Million Investment As It Prepares First Public Test". Forbes. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
- "The Little Engine That Might? Hyperloop One Boosts Funding; Names Ex-Uber CFO As Adviser". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Kerr, Simeon (October 16, 2018). "Saudi Arabia 'pulls' planned deal with Hyperloop". Financial Times. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- "Team". US: Hyperloop One. Archived from the original on July 30, 2018.
- "Team". US: Hyperloop One. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017.
- Dickey, Megan Rose. "Shervin Pishevar takes immediate leave of absence from Hyperloop One and Sherpa Capital". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- "Silicon Valley VC Shervin Pishevar Takes Leave From His Companies After Misconduct Claims". Bloomberg.com. December 5, 2017. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Carson, Biz. "Shervin Pishevar Steps Aside At Sherpa, Hyperloop Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- "Virgin Hyperloop One Revamps Board; Director Arrested". Bloomberg. US. April 3, 2018. Archived from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- Nikolskaya, Polina (March 31, 2018). "Russian tycoon Magomedov arrested on embezzlement charges". Reuters. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- della Cava, Marco (June 21, 2016). "Hyperloop One unveils Russia deal with goal of new Silk Road". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
- "Hyperloop One, DP World Sign Agreement To Pursue A Hyperloop Route In Dubai". Archived from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
- Hawkins, Andrew (April 4, 2017). "The hyperloop is ready for its big 'Kitty Hawk' moment — and may be coming to a US city near you". The Verge. US. Archived from the original on April 8, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- Vahtla, Aili (September 1, 2017). "Estonia, Hyperloop One sign letter of intent". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Estonia. Archived from the original on April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Virgin, Maharashtra in pact to build Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop". Money Control. India. February 19, 2018. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- "'Hyperloop One Global Challenge' launches to develop the world's first hyperloop networks". Electrek. May 10, 2016. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One Announces Semifinalists Of Its Global Challenge". PR Newswire. January 6, 2017. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One Unveiles 'Vision For India'". The Times of India. March 1, 2017. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Pipe Dream: Hyperloop One's Plan for High-Speed Transport". Inverse. April 17, 2017. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Estonia to Finland in just 8 minutes: Hyperloop One unveils 9 proposed European routes (VIDEO)". RT. June 7, 2017. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Hyperloop One Global Challenge winners include India, US, UK, Canada, and Mexico". The Next Web. Archived from the original on 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
- "Toronto to Montreal in 39 minutes? Futuristic people mover zips to next stage". Canada: CBC News. 2017. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Geuss, Megan (July 1, 2016). "CTO and co-founder of Hyperloop One leaves amid reported tensions". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Geuss, Megan (July 12, 2016). "Former Hyperloop One CTO alleges executive placed a noose in his office". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Geuss, Megan (July 20, 2016). "Hyperloop One accuses former employees of staging a coup". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Reim, Garrett (November 21, 2016). "Hyperloop One Settles Employee Lawsuit". Los Angeles Business Journal. Archived from the original on November 21, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Korosec, Kirsten (February 10, 2017). "Another New Hyperloop Company Just Launched". Fortune. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.