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Hyperloop Technologies becomes Hyperloop One, pulls in $80 million and announces global partners

TechCrunch TechCrunch 10/05/2016 Sarah Buhr

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Technologies is now Hyperloop One and $80 million richer from a close of its Series B round of financing this morning.

The news comes just days after rival hyperloop builder Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced a licensing deal to power its own prototype with magnetic levitation technology.

Both Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) and HTT are based in L.A. and both are working on models of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop – a vacuum tube-based transportation technology promising to shoot riders from San Francisco to the City of Angels in 30 minutes or less.

The moniker was too much like its rival hyperloop builder and the change comes just in time for Hyperloop One to coincide with a propulsion open-air test (POAT) happening in North Las Vegas tomorrow.

The new cash is from existing investors Sherpa Ventures, EightVC, ZhenFund and Caspian Venture Partners and a few new investors, including 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Fast Digital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), SNCF, the French National Rail Company (interestingly) and GE Ventures, which has invested heavily in building high speed rail in various parts of the world such as Europe and China. The total now raised is at $100 million.

“The overwhelming response we’ve had already confirms what we’ve always known, that Hyperloop One is at the forefront of a movement to solve one of the planet’s most pressing problems,” Hyperloop One co-founder and venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar said in a company statement. “The brightest minds are coming together at the right time to eliminate the distances and borders that separate economies and cultures.”

Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded the company shortly after Musk publicly put forth his plans to build such a transportation system in 2013.

Hyperloop One brought in a new CEO, Rob Lloyd last September, moving BamBrogan to a CTO role.

Along with he name change and new financing, the company added some hefty global partnerships. AECOM, AMBERG Group, ARCTURAN SUSTAINABLE CARGO, ARUP, Bjarke Ingels Group, Cargo Sous Terrain, Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting, FS LINKS, GRID, KPMG and SYSTRA will join Hyperloop One to build the future of transportation.

Los Angeles has many traffic woes and it is nice to think of going hundreds of miles at lightning speed, but I was told on a recent trip to Hyperloop One’s main headquarters the company will be focused on shipping cargo across the States and around the world in the nearer future – a move that could greatly reduce trucking emissions and travel time for goods.

Hyperloop One also announced it is participating in privately funded feasibility studies to examine the economic and social benefits of Hyperloop routes in Finland and Sweden.

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