US/New Zealand orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has just announced that it closed a Series E financing round of US$140 million (USD) last month. The Series E round brings total Rocket Lab funding to date to more than US$288m.
The round was led by existing investor Future Fund, which is Australia’s independently-managed sovereign wealth fund. Other current investors also participated in the round: New Zealand’s K1W1, as well as US-based Greenspring Associates, Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (Data Collective), and Promus Ventures. Additionally, the round saw a new investor, the Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand (ACC), the entity responsible for providing accident insurance in New Zealand.
The round follows the opening of Rocket Lab’s new mass production facility for the Electron vehicle last month. Construction has also begun on Rocket Lab’s second launch site, Launch Complex 2, based within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, USA. Launch Complex 2 can support monthly orbital launches from US soil, and is designed specifically to serve the responsive space needs of government customers. Between the two Rocket Lab launch complexes, the company can support up to 130 orbital missions per year.
“It has been a big year for Rocket Lab with two successful missions to orbit and another about to roll out to the pad, but it’s even more significant for the global small satellite industry that now has a fully commercial, dedicated ride to space,” said Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck. “This funding also enables the continued aggressive scale-up of Electron production to support our targeted weekly flight rate. It will also see us build additional launch pads and begin work on three major new R&D programs.”
On November 11 – after the closing of Series E – Rocket Lab conducted its second orbtal launch, successfully placing eight spacecraft into orbit.