The hectic race to create a functional hyperloop just got a little more dramatic. Brogan BamBrogan, a former co-founder of Hyperloop One who was ousted in a vicious litigation battle, just launched a breakaway company called Arrivo to take on his former company and the rival Hyperloop Transportation Technologies alike.
Arrivo is moving to compete directly with Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transport Technologies, the two main companies trying to turn Elon Musk’s hyperloop into reality. Over the summer, Hyperloop One was mired in a series of harassment lawsuits and countersuits with co-founder BamBrogen and his friends, ending with a mass of exits from Hyperloop One. The case was settled in November, and BamBrogen, his squad from Hyperloop One and two others have just launched Arrivo — the Arrival Company. According to the mission statement on its website, the company is focusing on the hyperloop:
Why travel when you can arrive? Arrivo is building technology based on the hyperloop architecture that will deliver a truly 21st-century seamless experience for passengers and freight. Just as all well-designed technology is invisible to its users, Arrivo’s hyperloop will shift transportation into a mode of “Arrival”.
Although Arrivo’s web domain was registered on December 20, and the company joined Twitter around the same time, it sent its first tweet on February 9, saying “Hello world. We’ve arrived.” The seven co-founders include BamBrogan, the rest of the “Gang of Four” (David Pendergast, William Mulholland, and Knut Sauer), Nima Bahrami, former VP of Transponics at Hyperloop One, Jadon Smith from SpaceX, and Andrew Liu, former VP at the civil engineering company AECOM Ventures.
Arrivo will be working on the hyperloop to create a new “generation of transportation.” Like Hyperloop Transport Technologies’ vaporware hyperloop concept, it’s a little unclear exactly how Arrivo plans to accomplish this. The “about” page for the company is focused on making hyperloop safe, reliable, and cost-effective.
“We’re building a world class team of engineers to deliver Arrival Technology that is fully networked, ultra-safe, 100% reliable and commercially sustainable. It’s time for our generation’s transportation system to arrive – Arrivo.”
BamBrogan’s departure from Hyperloop One came with a nasty mix of lawsuits over an alleged coup from BamBrogen and his cronies, called “the gang of four” by Hyperloop One, and accusations of harassment, including a noose left on BamBrogen’s desk. The lawsuits were settled in November, but the crazy circumstances surrounding BamBrogan’s exit are Game of Thrones-esque.
The fall-out is still perhaps reflected in the ethics statement for Arrivo, which briefly framed as “Work hard. Make the world better. Be nice. Play fair. These are the principles that guide our work.” There is a link to the full ethics statement, which goes into more details on things like fair dealing, which is particularly interesting since most of Arrivo’s founders are coming from Hyperloop One.
“We seek to outperform our competition fairly and honestly. Stealing proprietary information, improperly using, retaining or obtaining trade secret information, or inducing disclosures by past or present employees of other companies of such companies’ proprietary information is strictly prohibited.”
Arrivo is trying a unique take on the hyperloop concept, and plans to roll out its concept in the next few months, according to what BamBrogen told The Verge. If that’s the case, Arrivo has a very busy few months ahead of it. Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, the company only had eight employees on LinkedIn, the seven listed as co-founders and a business analyst. By 1:30 p.m. there was also a “majordomo” listed as employed at Arrivo. There are currently 43 job openings listed on its website, varying from receptionist to leader of business development in Asia.
Photos via Getty Images / David Becker