Hyperloop One, the company that once dreamed of building a high-speed freight link between Europe and China, is shutting down. A staff member confirmed to Engadget after Bloomberg published a report about its closure. The company was founded in 2014 following the release of Elon Musk’s paper about his vision for hyperloop transportation technologies.
Originally, the company aimed to provide transportation for both cargo and people in the form of pods traveling through sealed metal tubes across long distances in airplane-like speeds. From 2017 until 2022, it was known as Virgin Hyperloop One due to an investment from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. But Virgin quietly pulled its branding last year when the company decided to abandon its plans of transporting passengers to focus on building a cargo-only service. Hyperloop One laid off over 100 staff members early last year due to its change in priorities.
According to Bloomberg, the company has been having financial troubles for a while and has notably never secured a contract to build a working hyperloop system. It has now laid off most of its remaining employees, the news organization said, and the ones left will be let go on December 31. Until then, they’re reportedly overseeing the sales of Hyperloop One’s assets, including its machineries and test tracks.