Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Rocket Lab Raises $75 Million Series D Funding Round

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 21, 2017
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First Electron rocket at launch site. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

By Peter Beck,
Rocket Lab CEO

Today, we announced that Rocket Lab has closed a $75m Series D financing round, led by Data Collective, with additional investors Promus Ventures and an undisclosed investor. We’ve partnered with this esteemed group of investors because of their experience in the space industry.  We also had renewed participation in this round from our existing investors – Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and K1W1 – who have provided continued expertise and support as we work to make space accessible to everyone. The closure of the round brings the total funding Rocket Lab has received to date to $148 million, with the company value now in excess of $1 billion (USD).

Currently, small satellite companies wait years to get on orbit, often at the mercy and schedules of larger payloads. With Electron, they will be provided a high-frequency, quality launch service that will take customers where they want to go, when they want to fly. The commercial and humanitarian applications this will open up are endless. The satellites Electron will launch are used to provide optimized crop monitoring, natural disaster prediction, Internet from space, improved weather reporting, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services.

Today, we also welcome Matt Ocko of Data Collective to Rocket Lab’s board. We’re delighted to work with Matt and his team, including Chris Boshuizen, who have extensive knowledge of this industry and will bring added expertise to our leadership.

You may have seen that just last month, the first Electron vehicle arrived to Launch Complex 1, our private launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula. As we speak the team is hard at work commissioning the site. In other words, they’re completing hundreds of tests to ensure that all systems are safe and ready for launch.

The test flight program will begin with our first Electron rocket, “It’s a Test,” where we’ll aim to get Rocket Lab’s own flying laboratory, complete with 20,000 data channels, into Low-Earth Orbit. The insight it will gather will prove invaluable as we seek to learn from the first flight and iterate on the vehicle so as to optimize its performance in advance of future launches. We fully expect to meet a few challenges along the way but this will only leave us better prepared as we enter the commercial phase of launch.

Our priorities are safety and security first and foremost. This may mean that as we enter different launches we may decide to “scrub” or delay a launch to ensure these priorities are met. There’s a lot of work to be done and we’re not going to fly unless we’re ready. We’ve got a big year ahead and the team are excited to work through the test phase of our program and begin manufacturing Electron at scale.

This brings me to our next exciting piece of news. We’re incredibly pleased to announce the opening of our new Huntington Beach, California office. While we’ve had a presence in the LA area since 2013, this new facility will enable us to triple our production rate. We’re actively hiring for our engineering and business units and we’re committed to rapidly growing and scaling in both our Huntington Beach HQ and Auckland, NZ office. If you’re interested in open positions please take a look at our careers page.

Join us as we work to make space accessible and follow along here!


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