Hyperloop One, a transportation technology startup that focused on commercializing high-speed travel through tube-encased lines, has reportedly shut down.
Bloomberg cited an anonymous source familiar with the situation who claimed that Hyperloop had laid off most of its employees and is attempting to sell its remaining assets, including machinery and a test track. The report added that the startup closed its office in Los Angeles and set December 31 as the last date of employment for its remaining workers.
According to Bloomberg’s source, Hyperloop will transfer its intellectual property to DP World, a logistics company with a majority stake in the startup.
At one point, Hyperloop One, previously known as Hyperloop Technologies and Virgin Hyperloop One, employed over 200 people. However, in 2022, the startup reduced its staff by half.
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The following year, Hyperloop One merged with a shell company, Bloomberg reported. During that period, the value of shares in most classes was reduced to zero cents, making the shell company shareholders the sole owners of the startup.
The startup raised over $450 million, earned funding from Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and constructed a test track near Las Vegas. However, it could not secure a contract to build an operating hyperloop. The startup also lost Virgin’s branding when it began to focus on cargo transportation over passengers.
Hyperloop One was founded in 2014 following an Elon Musk white paper that explored hyperloop technology and the possibility of transporting passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes.
Musk later founded The Boring Company, a tunneling business that pursues similar technology. Other companies involved in hyperloop technology include Swisspod Technologies, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. and Hardt Hyperloop.