Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept has turned into a railcar company that just raised $80 million in funding and conducted a test in North Las Vegas.
Hyperloop Technologies Inc., which was recently renamed Hyperloop One, has closed an $80 million Series B funding round. The company also secured development partnerships with several investment and engineering firms.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles-based company tested its railcar on a tubeless track in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Within just a few seconds, the railcar accelerated to more than 100 miles per hour before being intentionally slammed into a pile of sand.
“We are proud to show off our progress today and look forward to meeting more milestones on our way to debuting a full-scale system later this year,” said Brogan BamBrogan, Hyperloop One co-founder and chief technology officer.
Elon Musk’s original concept in 2013 was a Hyperloop that would be able to make the journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about 30 minutes. The concept has moved forward into a reality enough for more than 70 investors to contribute to the $80 million funding round that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors included Sherpa Ventures, Khosla Ventures, SNCF (French National Rail), and GE Ventures. Nonspecific development partnerships were established with engineering and infrastructure planning firms, including Century City’s Aecom, Switzerland-based Amberg Group, and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting.
Hyperloop One is going overseas and is testing out opportunities in freight transport. The company said that it’s conducting several privately funded feasibility studies to analyze the economic and social benefits of a route between Stockholm and Helsinki. The firm also is participating in a feasibility study with Arcturan Sustainable Cargo of Los Angeles. This study is analyzing how the transportation technology can streamline the movement of containers from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
“Educating the public, showing them something like Hyperloop works for transporting freight is really important,” said Jeff Joyner, an intellectual property attorney specializing in transportation technology at Century City’s Greenberg Traurig. “The more you can get consumers excited about new technology, and show them that it is safe and viable, the more likely it is to reach that tipping point.”