A few years ago, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk announced that he thought we could build a tunnel that would whisk people across the continental United States in just a few minutes minutes. The basic idea behind Hyperloop is that low-pressure vacuum tubes could enable high-speed transport.
If fully realized, the benefit of this technology, as Musk notes, would be enormous: “How would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes 3 or 4 times faster than the bullet train…It goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do…”
The Hyperloop project, an ambitious high-speed transportation system, is set to break ground soon, though on a much smaller scale than what Musk ultimately envisioned (notably, Musk is not affiliated with the current Hyperloop project). And now the team just announced a new $26 million in funding from Khosla Ventures as part of a larger $80 million Series B round.
At the Web Summit conference in Dublin, CEO Rob Lloyd announced the new funding led by Khosla Ventures, the firm founded by Silicon Valley investor and former Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla. Other investors in the round were Formation8 and Sherpa Capital. Khosla Ventures expects to raise the rest of the amount by the end of 2016. Hyperloop had already raised $8.5 million.
Hyperloop is about to break ground to construct a test track which would stretch 400 miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Though the new funding would bring the Hyperloop one step closer to making high-speed travel real, the project still has more money to raise. The cost of constructing the full Hyperloop project in California is estimated at a staggering $8 billion overall.