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Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson as chairman

Transportation startup also announces it has raised another $50 million and achieved a speed test record.

phase-3-testing-preview

Hyperloop achieved a speed test record of 240 miles per hour during its third phase of testing.

Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One, the startup aiming to build a high-tech, high-speed transit system, said Monday it had appointed billionaire Richard Branson as its chairman.

Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, made a large investment in October in Hyperloop One, which subsequently renamed itself Virgin Hyperloop One. Branson's appointment comes two weeks after Hyperloop One Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar took a leave of absence from the company he co-founded under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.

The Los Angeles-based company also said Monday it had raised an additional $50 million from investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World.

"The recent investment by our partners Caspian Venture Capital and DP World sets up the company to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe and Russia as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems," Branson said in a statement.

Hyperloop, a futuristic form of transportation, aims to use electromagnetic pulses to shotgun passengers and cargo in pods through low-pressure tubes at near-supersonic speeds. The company expects to create a fully operational hyperloop system by 2021.

The company also said its Hyperloop had achieved a speed record of 240 miles per hour (386 kph) during its third phase of testing. A new airlock system that helps transition test pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions was also tested.

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