Hyperloop One looking to raise at least $250M more as super speed is costly

Hyperloop One, one of the more promising private companies trying to make Elon Musk’s concept of a high-speed, tube-based transit system a reality, is looking to raise as much as $250 million in an upcoming funding round, according to new documents unearthed by Forbes. The new funding round would be in addition to the $50 million just announced earlier this month.

The additional funding will help Hyperloop One deal with projected costs that far exceed the estimated $11.5 million per mile Musk first suggested when he presented his research paper detailing the theoretical hyperloop transportation technology. The Tesla founder left it to others to develop into a working product, since Musk is a little busy already running both SpaceX and Tesla, as well as acting as chairman of SolarCity, which Tesla intends to acquire.

Hyperloop One’s estimated costs for the same track (between SF and surrounding Bay area locales) run between $84 and $121 million per mile, according to Forbes, which obviously means the overall cash pile needed to build working Hyperloops is much bigger than anticipated. Costs vary depending on whether the track is designed for cargo only, or for cargo and passengers, and depending on where in the world the track is being built, but in general Hyperloop One’s cost estimates exceed Musk’s projections, which means it’s probably far from done raising.

Still, the presentation does project that Hyperloop One’s profits later on in its life, once the lines are built and ferrying cargo. Hyperloop One has said this will start in 2020, with human passenger capabilities ready for 2021, with the likely location of the first active Hyperloop being Dubai.

Hyperloop One has had its issues, including legal proceedings resulting from a falling out between co-founders, but it remains the company most likely to make this thing happen, provided it can convince potential investors its optimistic estimates about future profitability will indeed come to pass.