The startup, which intends to create an ultrafast tube transportation system, was named Virgin Hyperloop One after the announcement of the strategic partnership that allows Branson to join the board of directors. Musk initially said he would leave construction of a hyperloop to others and would simply provide support for pod design through SpaceX's competition, but after starting a tunnel boring company, he chose to go ahead and build a hyperloop of his own.
Branson appeared Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to announce his company, Virgin Group, is investing in Hyperloop One, which is developing the super-fast transport system originally dreamed up by Elon Musk.
Hyperloop One, which has previously raised more than $160 million, is working to develop a pod system that can travel at up to 750 miles per hour with better safety than passenger jets, and lower build and maintenance costs than high-speed trains.
"After visiting Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times", said Branson.
Trains: Hyperloop floats above the surface of the tube.
"Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies", said Branson.
"We're incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers' lives", he said. Virgin Hyperloop One will also be all-electric. The company's vision is for the magnetic-based system to be used as a major mode of transport between cities, eventually reaching speeds of around 760mph, and potentially connecting London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes. Branson attended and said he saw "firsthand the exciting technology being tested".