Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hyperloop VC presentation

The following is a hypothetical conversation between Elon Musk (EM) presenting Hyperloop and a Silicon Valley VC (SVC).

SVC: Good Morning, Mr. Musk. So, tell me a little bit more about Hyperloop.

EM: Hyperloop basically would transport passengers in individual aluminum pods powered by turbines and solar energy in above-ground tubes.

SVC: Seems like Science Fiction.

EM: Have you read the white paper?

SVC: Can't say that I have read all 57-pages cover-to-cover. But I did glance through it. What would this cost to build?

EM: This is actually spelled out in the paper, on Page 6. It would cost around $6b to build.

SVC: Have you built a prototype?

EM: Not yet. It is theoretically proven and thermodynamically feasible.

SVC: So, you would like us to fund an idea that you hope will turn out to be commercially feasible. How long will this take to complete?

EM: It would take 3-4 years to build a working prototype and then 4-5 years after that for the full-scale working version.

SVC: So, 7-9 years before you start realizing any revenue

EM: Your math is good

SVC: How much are you looking to raise?

EM: It would cost around $100m to build the initial prototype.

SVC: I am sorry, Mr. Musk. If you had a working prototype, we would be willing to take the risk and make an investment. At this stage, your idea is unproven and may not be realized. It is too risky for us to invest now.

EM: That is okay. I will probably fund this myself. If I charge just $20 for the ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the current traffic of 7.5m people could well increase to 10 - 15m people. This will result in breaking even in less than 10 years.

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