Virgin Hyperloop One sets a speed record in testing captured on video

DP World, the world's fourth largest ports operator, has participated in the latest $50 million funding round for Virgin Hyperloop One, the futuristic transportation company, which appointed Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as its new chairman.

"I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new chairman", Branson said, in a written public statement.

Virgin Hyperloop One set a test speed record of almost 240 miles per hour during its third phase of testing at its site in Nevada.

The developments coincide with reports of the company running low on money, at a time when it is dealing with the fallout of allegations of sexual harassment levelled at one of its co-founders. Several women have said Pishevar sexually harassed or assaulted them.

The Los Angeles-based start-up also named investor Richard Branson chairman. Pishevar denied all the allegations, took a leave of absence from Virgin Hyperloop One this month and stepped down from his venture capital firm. The company has used about 200 engineers, machinists, welders and fabricators to work on the project. He was also an early investor in Uber and Airbnb.

The company, which has also completed its third phase of testing achieving historic test speeds of 387 kilometers per hour, will use these new funds to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, and Russian Federation, focusing in 2018 on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects.

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In a statement, Virgin Hyperloop One said it had raised an additional $50 million ahead of a Series C round of funding with investments from Caspian Venture Capital and DP World.

Hyperloop One co-founder & Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar, left, CEO Rob Lloyd, and co-founder & Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan speak during the first test of the propulsion system.

Virgin Hyperloop One aims to build a Hyperloop in the image of a system imagined by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk-a system of pods on air bearings speeding through low-pressure tubes at 760mph.

Such a system could go between Seattle and Portland in 20 minutes, or between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles in a little more than half an hour. The singer said she attended a party in 2010 at Branson's Caribbean retreat on Necker Island when the host suddenly placed his head between her breasts and made a motorboat engine sound.

Virgin Group's Branson, who joined the board in October as part of an investment and partnership deal with the startup, will receive stock warrants to maintain his current stake through his investment vehicle, Corvina Holdings Ltd, according to the financial document.

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