The Hyperloop, an idea first discussed by Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk back in 2013, is one of the most ambitious technological projects around and would provide the ability to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in half an hour via low-friction aluminum pods traveling up to 800mph encased in a tube. It sounds completely insane, but when Musk announced it, he said that a prototype was possible and, "If it was my top priority, I could probably get it done in one or two years." But when you're running two of the most progressive companies in the world, side projects like reinventing the way humans travel get left in the dust. That's where Hyperloop Technologies comes in.
Hyperloop Technologies is exactly what you think it is. It's a company that exists to bring the next generation of transportation to fruition. Operating in stealth mode since last year, Hyperloop Technologies is stacked with talent, and cash to boot. The company revealed themselves in an extensive profile by Forbes, and currently looks to be the best chance outside of Elon Musk himself to bring the idea of the Hyperloop closer to reality.
Hyperloop Technologies is well-funded and stacked with talent
Led by VC Shervin Pishevar, former White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, former Yammer CEO David Sacks, and former SpaceX engineer Brogan BamBrogan, Hyperloop Technologies is not lacking talent. According to Pishevar, he's the one who forced his friend Elon Musk to reveal his idea of the Hyperloop, pushing him to reveal it during the AllThingsD conference in 2013.
Hyperloop Technologies is focusing on building a Hyperloop route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles — but not for passengers — to shuttle cargo. It's actually more ambitious than Musk's plans, with the loop going underwater. The company has met with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Las Vegas investor Anthony Marnell in an effort to find a way around the right of way laws for high-speed rails between Las Vegas and Nevada. President Obama has been briefed about it, according to Forbes.
President Obama has been briefed about the company.
The company has raised $8.5 million already, and is planning to raise another $80 million before the year is over, with Pishevar saying he will personally fund $40 million of that round. Although not directly involved, Musk is keeping tabs on the group. "Elon felt that if we could prove it could work, even a two- or five-mile prototype, that would overcome any political challenges or regulatory issues," Sacks told Forbes. "But we all agreed we had to prove it first with private money."
Whether Hyperloop Technologies can make the Hyperloop a reality remains to be seen. It's still incredibly early, and there are others who would like to build the Hyperloop, including a similarly named company called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which is currently crowdfunded, and potentially even Musk himself, who is building a Hyperloop test track. It's looking like the Hyperloop will become reality, the question is who will build it?