Dubai World backs Hyperloop One

16 October 2016

Dubai-based port operator hopes to benefit early from technology

Dubai-based DP World has invested $50m in Hyperloop One, the California-based transport start-up that is seeking to build the first Hyperloop for cargo in Dubai.

It is understood that the $50m is a convertible note and is part of the ongoing Series C funding round of the company that will conclude in 2017. The latest investment brings the total capital raised by Hyperloop One to $160m.

The latest round of funding is seen as crucial as Hyperloop One is aiming to test its first full-sale prototype in Las Vegas, Nevada in the first quarter of 2017. The company is currently setting up a test-track and metalwork fabrication facility at the site.

In August, DP World signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyperloop One to look “into the value of using Hyperloop systems for moving containers from ships docked at the Jebel Ali port to a new inland container depot.”

The study is to conclude in mid-November.

DP World Group CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem is also joining the start-up’s board of directors. Former Uber chief financial officer Brent Callinicos is also joining Hyperloop One as chief financial advisor.

Hyperloop Founder Shervin Pishevar told international media that DP World will help the company achieve its vision of moving cargo more sustainably and efficiently. “To be able to move cargo, the atoms, as fast possible, as the bits — that’s really the vision here, and DP World is… now investor and board member,” Pishevar told American cable channel CNBC.

The investment should help reassure the market and investors following a lawsuit filed by former co-founder and CTO Brogan BamBrogan against Pishevar.

Hyperloop infrastructure includes a station or loading platform, a capsule or pod that would carry passengers or cargo, and a tube through which the capsule will travel, which utilises electro-magnetic propulsion and passive magnetic levitation systems. It offers theoretical speeds of up to 1,220 kilometres per hour.





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