DUBLIN — The dream of rocketing through a metal tube at 800 mph took another big step forward on Thursday with the announcement that Hyperloop has added another $26 million to its war chest of cash.
Hyperloop is on its second major round of funding, known as a series B, while it tries to build a high-speed pneumatic tube transportation system to zip people from one place to another.
Making the announcement about the new funding at the Web Summit in Ireland, CEO Rob Lloyd said the company is confident the company will achieve its goal of meeting its full $80 million series B round by the end of the year.
Lloyd, the former president of Cisco Systems, joined Hyperloop as CEO in September, replacing Brogan BamBrogan, who is now the company’s chief technology officer.
The $26 million comes from convertible note financing, which is a type of debt. Convertible notes are bonds that investors buy to help a company raise money; at a certain point in the future, when the bond reaches its maturity, they get the option to trade in the bond and take stock in the company instead.
In the series B, Lloyd, who joined the company in September, said Hyperloop had added investors from around the world including Khosla Ventures. All of its series A investors are participating, which would include Russian businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Caspian VC Partners, Sherpa, and ZhenFund.
He said the funding would give Hyperloop’s CTO and co-founder Brogan BamBrogan and team “every pound of steel required to achieve our Kitty Hawk moment one year later.”
“We’ve ordered the steel, so we need to fill in the purchase order with the ‘ship to’ address pretty quickly,” he said.
Hyperloop has previously said it will achieve a test loop of 700 mph by the end of 2016.
“The excitement around our vision and execution is palpable,” Lloyd said in a statement on Hyperloop’s website after the on-stage announcement.
He was joined on stage by Sherpa Capital’s Shervin Pishevar who said that making Thursday’s announcement in Dublin was particularly significant for him because it’s where Hyperloop closed out its first, or series A, funding in 2014.
And it happened at the same hotel where the investor and entrepreneur signed the term note for that other transportation company he invested in, Uber. “I thank Ireland for the luck of the Irish,” he said.
Commenting on when things would move past the test stage, Lloyd said three Hyperloop projects will be underway by 2017 and close to completion by 2020 — adding that he and BamBrogan were leaving Dublin and travelling in opposite directions around the globe in search of the right locations.
The theoretical transportation system, which investors say will turn the world into a village, moves people in vacuum-like tubes that they say will be able to travel at up to 800 mph.
Tesla and Space X’s Elon Musk dreamed up the idea and is still “supportive of the efforts” according to the company.
Source : www.mashable.com
Author : Blathnaid Healy