Virgin billionaire Richard Branson is taking up Hyperloop One chairman role

 
Lynsey Barber
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Elon Musk's High Speed Train Concept Company Hyperloop One Holds First Public Test Run
Hyperloop One added Virgin to its name with Branson's investment (Source: Getty)

Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson is taking up a top leadership position at Virgin Hyperloop One, the transportation startup he recently invested in and rebranded under his empire's name.

The billionaire businessman will become chairman at the US company which hopes to build high speed transport based on a technology concept created by Elon Musk around the world.

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Branson's Virgin Group invested an undisclosed amount in Hyperloop One in October as part of an $85m funding. The news was first reported by Axios.

The elevation to a leadership position comes after the firm's co-executive chairman and co-founder Shervin Pishevar took a leave of absence in the wake of sexual assault allegations. He last week left the venture firm he founded, Sherpa Capital, due to the claims, which he disputes.

And the appointment comes with promise of $50m new cash from other existing investors, Russian firm Caspian Venture Capital whose founder Ziyavudin Magomedov had been named co-executive chairman in October, and Dubai's DP World.

Read more: Richard Branson's Virgin just got involved in Hyperloop

Virgin has been contacted for comment.

Hyperloop clams its technology could reduce the time taken to travel between London and Edinburgh to just 50 minutes. It has travelled at more than 200 mph in tests but fully working pilots have yet to be proven.

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