EIT InnoEnergy supported Hardt Hyperloop announced its latest investment from key public and private investors. This essential milestone underpins the completion of the European Hyperloop Center (EHC) and Hardt’s hyperloop test vehicle, setting the stage for testing operations to commence in 2024. The EHC, a 420-meter-long test facility including a lane switch, will allow Hardt to prove all essential technologies for hyperloop, and amplifies Hardt’s commitment to leading the transformation of future transport with the hyperloop.
This round witnessed participation from an impressive consortium of investment partners. The funding comes from the EU’s €1.1B European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, the Dutch regional investment funds InnovationQuarter & Investment Fund Groningen, as well as a number of Hardt’s existing and new backers. Notable among them is the successful entrepreneur Peter Goedvolk, through his fund First Dutch, in partnership with Platform Zero. The investment follows the earlier private sector investments from key investors such as POSCO International (KR) and Urban Impact Ventures (EU) just last year. Both investments combined total more than EUR 12M.
Situated in the Dutch city of Veendam (NL), in the Province of Groningen, the EHC will be a cornerstone of hyperloop innovation. It features a fully operational hyperloop lane switch, which is a critical attribute for the implementation of hyperloop networks. The EHC will also be an open test facility, inviting other hyperloop developers and companies interested in hyperloop components to perform tests at the center. By cultivating an environment of shared learning and collaboration, it will provide a boost to the whole hyperloop ecosystem. The construction of the hyperloop pipes and the foundations has already begun, and the first pipes will be installed by the end of the summer.
The EIC Fund is part of the EIC’s mandate to identify and support high-impact innovations within the EU. Their backing of Hardt Hyperloop reflects a strategic decision to take a share in the success of European hyperloop technology and follows from their commitment to Hardt Hyperloop in 2021. Hermann Hauser, member of the EIC Fund Board, commented: “The EIC Fund is proud to support Hardt Hyperloop in its venture to revolutionize transportation. This investment signals the fund’s confidence in Hardt’s potential to deliver a transformative solution for the mobility landscape in Europe and beyond.”
InnovationQuarter and Investment Fund Groningen, the regional investment funds from the Dutch Provinces of South Holland and Groningen, respectively, recognize the strong potential of Hardt Hyperloop. Koos Fuykschot, Manager IQCapital, InnovationQuarter, remarked: “We have always considered Hardt Hyperloop to be at the forefront of innovation in the Rotterdam/Delft area, ever since the first investment in 2017 by UNIIQ, our early-stage fund. Now with IQCapital, our largest fund, we are even more committed to fostering these transformative hyperloop technologies and driving their growth in our region.” Jan Martin Timmer, Fund Manager Investment Fund Groningen added: “Groningen has a leading position in supporting sustainable transport- and energy development. Already in 2019, Groningen committed to hosting the European Hyperloop Center. Investing in Hardt’s hyperloop development therefore comes naturally. We are excited to join Hardt on its journey and amplify Groningen as a key region for hyperloop developments.”
Tim Houter, co-founder of Hardt Hyperloop, affirmed the company’s appreciation and enthusiasm for the investors that are joining: “With these new investors alongside our existing backers, we have a great foundation to further the development and commercialization of the hyperloop. The continued support is a great sign of credibility and trust in our development roadmap. It is also not just a win for Hardt Hyperloop — it is a great step for the hyperloop industry of which the EHC is an essential step in the roadmap towards a sustainable connected future.”
With the backing of these renowned partners, Hardt Hyperloop is all set for completion and testing in the EHC. Parallel to the work on the EHC, Hardt Hyperloop has been busy in the past several months with international roadshows making headway with governmental agencies and business partners, on solidifying plans for infrastructure development and potential pilot routes. Hardt remains steadfast in its mission to enable sustainable and high-speed transportation for everyone, with a global hyperloop network.