Hyperloop One, previously known as Hyperloop Technologies, is one of the few companies who’re trying to redefine the future of transport, based on the prototypes put forth by legendary innovator Elon Musk. But, building a electric propulsion-powered tube track, cargo vehicle and its testing doesn’t come easy and cheap. It is a capital intensive business. Thus, the company today announced that it picked up a fresh $50 million in convertible-debt financing.
This funding round has been led by Dubai’s DP World Group, who is one of world’s largest port-terminal operators. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of the company will also be acquiring a seat and say in the progress of this futuristic project. He will also be joined by Ziyavudin Magomedov, a Russian billionaire who runs a port and oil business by the name of Summa Group.
Commenting on the addition of these two heavyweights to its board, CEO Rob Llyod told The Verge,
[They will augment the board with] significant experience in logistics and freight, in construction of large-scale projects, building ports, building railroads… and other complicated things.
Hyperloop One will use the fresh influx of funds to rapidly work on building its first full-scale test of the transportation system. The construction is currently on track to be completed in first quarter of 2017. It seems that the company is eying Dubai as its first preference for a real hyperloop track, while its rival HTT might be bringing the project to India first.
Prior to this round, Hyperloop One has managed to acquire a total of $90 million in two rounds of funding — one for $80 million and another one for $11.1 million. Both of these rounds were led by Sherpa Capital’s Shervin Pishevar, who co-founded Hyperloop and is a board observer at Uber. This round bumps the total investment into Hyperloop One to a total of $141.1 million. The company plans to raise fresh equity funding in the first half of 2017.
The Series B round of funding was also the one when the company brought in help from outside to run its burgeoning transportation business. It appointed Rob Lloyd, ex-President of Cisco, as its new CEO, and added Emily White, former Snapchat plus Facebook exec to its list of advisors.
Since his appointment as CEO last year, Rob Lloyd has made finding a Chief Financial officer and strategic advisors for the project his main objective. And today, the company is adding one of the smartest financial advisors to its list of strategic partners. Brent Callinicos has served as the CFO of some of most influential companies in the Valley including the likes of $63 billion ride-hailing giant Uber, Mountain View-based Google and even the Redmond giant Microsoft as well.
Callinicos will now serve as chief financial advisor to Llyod as well as other board of directors. He has likely been pursued to join the advisory board by common investor Shervin Pishevar.