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Swisspod secures funding for Pueblo test

Swisspod
Posted at 2:00 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 12:57:24-05

PUEBLO, Colorado — The Swiss-American company Swisspod has secured the funding to build and test the propulsion system for its Hyperloop technology in Pueblo.

The company announced Wednesday that it had closed the first round of funding with support from five top-tier investors including ACE & Company, a global investment group that has been an early investor in many successful technology and innovation companies, including SpaceX.

The financing will help the company to boost research and development efforts and to validate key subsystems in Pueblo thanks to a new partnership with the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Transportation Technology Center, Incorporated (TTCI).

Swisspod Co-founder and CEO Denis Tudor said the money raised in this early round of investment will enable testing of the autopilot and propulsion systems specifically.

"This propulsion system can minimize the price of the infrastructure and also it offers an efficient way to propel goods or people," Tudor said.

"We want to be sure that this propulsion system can be a game-changer in the Hyperloop industry."

The company unveiled a 1/6th scale prototype in Switzerland earlier this year. It is the first Hyperloop testing track to be constructed in Europe. The prototype was developed in a joint effort with The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and The School of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD).

Tudor anticipates some early testing on the propulsion system will be conducted on the Swiss test track in 2022.

"By June next year, we're going to have a full and complete test on a reduced-scale model, and this will benchmark a certain part of the propulsion system but not entirely," he said.

Adam Said, CEO of ACE & Company, said in a news release that Switzerland has the history and the talent to continue to drive the development of hyperloop technology and infrastructure at a global scale.

“We are highly impressed with the Swisspod team, which has systematically delivered on its technical and operational milestones, leveraging its early wins at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competitions,” Said said.

Robert Karsunky, an executive with Novartis Pharma and one of Swisspod's early investors, said in a news release that he is tremendously impressed by Swisspod's ability to execute on technical milestones.

"This will likely result in significant investor interest to follow as Swisspod solidifies its leading position in the Hyperloop space," Karsunky said.

Another investor, Diana Dram of READ-HP Investments, said her group is thrilled to partner with the Swisspod team in creating an environmentally sustainable transportation system.

"Climate change is an existential and universal problem the world is facing now and - if left unchecked - irreversibly in the near future," Dram said.

"Supporting innovative technologies for efficient and sustainable mobility systems is a great opportunity for us to contribute to a better and more equitable future."

Swisspod is endorsed by the Swiss Government. The company and its partners from EPFL and HEIG-VD were awarded an Innosuisse grant to fund the development of the Hyperloop Testing Facility in Switzerland.