Richard Branson is jumping on the Hyperloop train, the transport concept which could reduce the time it takes to travel between London and Edinburgh to just 50 minutes.
The British billionaire has announced an investment in Hyperloop One by Virgin Group, which will now be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One.
"This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground," the entrepreneur said in a blog post, describing Hyperloop as "the world's most revolutionary train service.
The Hyperloop concept was invented by Elon Musk, but Hyperloop One is a separate company and one of many working on the transport technology.
The idea is that pods will travel at hundreds of miles per hour through tubes under the ground, reducing hours-long journeys to mere minutes. Tests of Hyperloop One in the desert of Nevada have resulted in speeds of almost 200mph in recent months.
"Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies," said Branson.
"From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people’s lives. This is just the latest example. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too."
One of Hyperloop One's co-founders, head of engineering Josh Giegel, previously worked for Branson at his Virgin Galactic space venture. Shervin Pishevar, an entrepreneur and venture capital investor who has backed Uber and Airbnb, is a co-founder.
Virgin's investment is part of Hyperloop One's recently announced $85m series B round announced just a few weeks ago, bringing total funding to $245m. The exact size of Virgin's investment has not been disclosed.
Branson tweeted a picture of himself visting the Hyperloop One test centre.
By City AM
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