December 19, 2017 / 12:45 AM / 7 months ago

Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson Chairman, raises $50 mln

(Reuters) - Virgin Hyperloop One said on Monday it has raised $50 million in new financing and named British billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, non-executive chairman.

Hyperloop One said in a statement that it would rebrand itself to Virgin Hyperloop One.

Monday’s funding was raised from existing investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World, the company said.

This investment brings the total financing raised by Virgin Hyperloop One to $295 million since its founding in 2014.

The company develops super high-speed transportation systems which are expected to cut travel time between New York and Washington to about half an hour.

In October, Branson invested in the company and joined its board.

Hyperloop One was originally conceived by American entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic, Branson’s space company.

Hyperloop One is also working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India and Canada.

Branson’s appointment comes at a time when the company’s co-founder Shervin Pishevar stepped down from the board of Hyperloop One following claims of sexual misconduct, though Pishevar denied the allegations.

Richard Branson poses at the Empire State Building to promote the DS Virgin Racing team and The New York City ePrix in New York City, U.S., July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; editing by Clive McKeef

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