Our story begins in 1967 when Richard launched Student magazine, aged 15.
The Virgin brand is born. Virgin Mail Order starts selling cut price records in Student.
Virgin opens its first record shop.
Richard purchases a residence in Oxfordshire, England and uses it to open the first Virgin Records recording studio, called The Manor.
The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Spice Girls would all eventually appear on Virgin's label.
Virgin Records and Virgin Music Publishing launch in the UK. Virgin Records later expands to the USA (1986).
Virgin Records goes where all other major record labels fear to tread - like belting out “God Save The Queen” on Silver Jubilee day, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
Richard purchases Necker Island, which later becomes his family home.
The first Virgin Megastore opens. The brand later expands globally, including Japan (1990), the USA (1992), the Middle East (2001) and Australia (2002).
We get into gaming with Virgin Games (later to become Virgin Interactive), releasing video games for classic systems such as the Amiga, the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC and the C64.
Virgin takes to the air for the first time, launching Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Holidays arrives. Not content with just getting people there in style, we want to keep them there in style. For around two weeks or so, anyway.
Mates Condoms launches. A non-profit low-cost condoms company, it was aimed at young people to help combat the AIDS crisis.
Miami anyone? Virgin Atlantic buys another Boeing 747 to launches its second route from London Gatwick to Miami.
The Virgin Airship and Balloon Company (later to become Virgin Balloon Flights) takes off.
It becomes quite hard to keep Richard’s feet on the ground…
Virgin Publishing is formed (later becoming Virgin Books).
Virgin Records sells to Thorn EMI for $1 billion.
We hit UK airwaves with Virgin Radio (which relaunches in 2015). Virgin later expands to open stations in Thailand (2002); India (2006); Italy (2007); France, Dubai, Turkey (2008); Jordan (2009); Canada (2010); Lebanon (2013); Indonesia (2015); Romania (2017); Oman and Switzerland (2018).
Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka launch as part of Virgin Drinks.
Virgin Direct launches.
Virgin Cinemas launches.
V2 Music, Virgin.net, Virgin Brides, and Virgin Express are born.
The first V festival is held in the UK. It later expands to the USA and Canada (2006). Rock on.
Virgin Trains launches and the following year is awarded a 15 year franchise for the West Coast Main Line route in the UK.
The Virgin Cosmetics Company launches.
Virgin Direct launches the Virgin One account with Royal Bank of Scotland.
Virgin Books publishes Richard's first autobiography, Losing My Virginity.
Virgin Mobile launches in the UK.
The brand later expands to Australia (2000); the USA (2002); Canada (2005); China, France, South Africa (2006); India (2008); Chile, Poland (2012); Colombia (2013); Mexico, Saudi Arabia (2014); UAE (2018).
Virgin Active launches in the UK.
The brand later expands to South Africa (2001); Italy (2004); Spain, Portugal (2006); Australia (2008); Singapore (2013); Thailand (2014).
Richard receives a knighthood for services to entrepreneurship.
Virgin Blue launches in Australia.
Virginmoney.com, Virgin Cars, Virgin Energy, Virgin Student and Virgin Wines launch.
Virgin Wines later expands from the UK to the USA (2010) and Australia (2011).
Virgin Limited Edition launches with Ulusaba (South Africa), Necker Island (British Virgin Islands), and the Roof Gardens (UK).
The portfolio later expands to Kasbah Tamadot (Morocco) in 2006; The Lodge (Switzerland) in 2007; Mahali Mzuri (Kenya) in 2013; Mont Rochelle (South Africa) in 2014 and Son Bunyola (Mallorca) in 2016.
Virgin Trains unveils its innovative Pendolino trains.
Virgin Money is born after Virgin Direct merges with Virginmoney.com. It later expands to Australia (2002), South Africa (2006) and the USA (2008).
Virgin Experience (later to become Virgin Experience Days) launches.
After the tragic events of 9/11, the aviation industry enters a global slump. Most airlines cut back, but Virgin Atlantic invests more in customer experience - including commissioning a new Clubhouse at London Heathrow.
2002 - 2003
Virgin Money's credit card launches in the UK.
Virgin Atlantic introduces its 'Upper Class' suite, with innovative, fully flat beds - and unveils its new Clubhouse.
Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, is founded to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world.
Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceline, launches.
Virgin Digital launches a download and subscription music service.
Virgin Games launches Virgin Casino and Virgin Poker.
Virgin Unite incubates two initiatives in South Africa: Pride ’n’ Purpose and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, which later expands to Jamaica (2011).
Virgin Media is born from a merger of Virgin Mobile UK, Virgin.net and NTL Telewest. It later expands to Ireland (2015).
Virgin Fuels (later to become Virgin Green Fund) launches. Two years later Virgin Atlantic is the first airline to fly a Boeing 747 using biofuel.
Virgin Unite and partners open the Bhubezi Healthcare Clinic in South Africa. With Virgin Mobile USA, it also launches RE'Generation to support at-risk and homeless youth.
2007 - 2009
Virgin America launches.
Virgin Health Miles (later to become Virgin Pulse) launches in the USA.
Virgin Unite partners with Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel to form The Elders.
V Australia and Virgin Healthcare launch.
Virgin Money Giving launches.
Virgin Racing launches its own Formula 1 team.
Virgin Digital Help launches.
Virgin Unite incubates the Carbon War Room (now merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute).
Holly and Sam Branson launch education charity Big Change at the Virgin Money London Marathon, breaking a world record with 32 friends linked together as a giant caterpillar.
Virgin Produced makes its debut with science fiction thriller Limitless.
Virgin Unite supports the launches of Galactic Unite and the Ocean Elders.
Virgin Australia is formed from the merger of Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue.
Richard joins the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Virgin Money UK acquires Northern Rock at the second attempt.
Virgin Care launches as a private provider for the NHS.
Virgin Galactic announces orbital space-launch system LauncherOne, now part of Virgin Orbit.
Virgin Pure launches.
Virgin Trains loses - then regains - the West Coast Main Line route after successfully challenging the UK government decision in court.
Virgin StartUp launches.
Virgin Galactic’s spaceship VSS Enterprise makes its first powered flight.
Virgin Racing Formula E team launches.
Virgin Unite and Richard partner with Jochen Zeitz to incubate The B Team.
2014 - 2015
A tragic accident during a Virgin Galactic test flight leads to the death of pilot Mike Alsbury. The incident was devastating to the whole team, but they vowed not to give up.
Virgin Trains East Coast launches.
Virgin Hotels' first property opens in Chicago.
Virgin Group invests in OneWeb.
Ship ahoy! The Virgin Voyages brand is born.
Virgin Sport is founded. Its first festival takes place the following year.
Richard joins Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Virgin Orbit is founded.
Not-for-profit foundation Unite BVI is founded.
Virgin Group invests in Hyperloop One to create Virgin Hyperloop.
Virgin Books publishes Richard's second autobiography, Finding My Virginity.
Virgin Money UK merges with CYBG.
Virgin Pulse merges with RedBrick Health and acquires SimplyWell (formerly Viverae) to create the world’s leading employee-health platform.
After a successful Virgin Galactic test flight, VSS Unity becomes the first vehicle built for commercial service to put people into space.
Virgin Hotels opens its second property in San Francisco, with further expansion planned across the USA (Dallas, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, New York) and beyond, including the UK (Edinburgh).
Brightline unveils Virgin MiamiCentral Station as its Florida hub.
Virgin Orbit conducts its first drop test successfully.
Virgin Bet launches.
Virgin turns 50, and Virgin by Design is published by Thames & Hudson to celebrate.
Virgin Hotels Dallas and Virgin Hotels Nashville open.
The Virgin Group responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richard turns 70.
Virgin Hyperloop completes the world's first hyperloop passenger test
Virgin Telco launches in Spain.
Virgin Orbit completes its first spaceflight into orbit – and completes its second successful spaceflight later in the year.
Virgin Music Label & Artist Services launches.
VG Acquisition Corp (VGAC) and Virgin Group Acquisition Corp II (VGAC II) launch.
Virgin Media merges with O2 to create Virgin Media O2.
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Virgin Hotels New Orleans open.
Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, launches.
Virgin Experiences Gifts launches in the US.
Virgin Galactic completes its first fully crewed spaceflight, including Astronaut 001 - Richard Branson.
Virgin launches its first global brand campaign, We Can.
Virgin Mobile Canada rebrands as Virgin Plus.
Virgin Voyages launches its first sailings from the UK before Scarlet Lady’s MerMaiden Voyage from her homeport in Miami.
100,000 people take part in the final Virgin Money London Marathon.
After nearly two years of closed borders, Virgin Australia welcomes back international travellers
Virgin Mobile UAE introduces biodegradable SIM cards
Virgin Atlantic transports humanitarian aid to help Ukraine
Virgin Voyages celebrates Valiant Lady’s MerMaiden voyage in Barcelona
Virgin Atlantic announces updates to its uniform policy, including allowing frontline employees to have visible tattoos for the first time, and allowing team members to choose which of the iconic uniforms they wear
Virgin Hotels opens its doors in Edinburgh
Virgin Orbit launches seven satellites into space on Straight Up mission
Virgin Atlantic introduces its new Airbus A330neo aircraft
Virgin Pulse is named in Fast Company’s Brands That Matter list
Richard Branson releases updated autobiography, with details of how the Virgin Group survived the COVID-19 pandemic and his historic flight to space
HBO airs BRANSON, a brand-new documentary about Richard Branson’s life, featuring never-seen-before footage and interviews with the Virgin Group Founder’s nearest and dearest