Claiming to reach speeds of up to 1,200km/h (800 mph), Elon Musk’s hyperloop is a rapid train-like concept as controversial as any out there. It’s practically unproven engineering and legal obstacles leave many questioning whether it can make the jump from design to reality.
But the idea has now received a vote of confidence from a major backer. Hyperloop One, one of the first startups planning to build a hyperloop, just got fresh financing from partners in the United Arab Emirates to the tune of $50 million.
The new financier is DP World Group, the third largest port operator in the world. Hyperloop acquired the funding as “debt that converts to preferred shares if the company raises another round of equity financing,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
DP World Group previously partnered to study a hyperloop track that will transport cargo from the Jebel Ali port in Dubai to an inland depot.
The new funding means Hyperloop One has received $160 million in total. Companies like 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, the French National Rail Company, and GE Ventures have already backed the company.
Hyperloop One also made headlines when it hired a new chief financial officer. Its new CFO Brent Callinicos brings experience with Silicon Valley money from his time as Google’s treasurer and Uber’s CFO.