Chinese commercial satellites developer Chang Guang raises $374m

Chang Guang Satellite Technology, a Chinese developer of commercial remote sensing satellites, has closed a 2.464 billion yuan ($374.2 million) pre-IPO round of financing, according to a statement on Monday.

The round was backed by a wide range of domestic investors such as the private equity unit of Haitong Innovation Capital Management, an investment manager affiliated with Haitong Securities; Shenzhen Capital Group, a government-guided investment group in southern China’s Shenzhen City; and Shanghai-based PE firm Estar Capital, which invests in electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced manufacturing.

Other investors included CICC Capital, the PE unit of Chinese investment banking firm CICC; Matrix Partners China, the China team of US-based Matrix Partners; partially state-owned voice recognition firm iFlytek; asset manager Shanda Capital; and CAS Star, a state-owned incubator of hard technologies, among others.

Existing investors, including a government-guided fund in northeastern China’s Jilin Province and Chang Guang’s management team, invested in the latest round.

The completion of Chang Guang’s pre-IPO round follows the successful fundraising efforts of its homegrown counterparts, including LandSpace, a privately-owned aerospace startup that had pocketed 1.2 billion yuan ($182.4 million) in a Series C+ round in September. LandSpace had, in December 2019, closed a 500-million-yuan ($76.0 million) Series C round.

Beijing-based iSpace also raised nearly 1.2 billion yuan ($182.4 million) in a Series B round in late August.

Market researcher Qianzhan.com projected that the scale of China’s commercial space launch market has reached 836.2 billion yuan ($127.1 billion) in 2019, up 23.5 per cent compared to 2018.

There were over 160 enterprises in the upstream and downstream of China’s nascent commercial space launch industry by end-2019. They collectively raised more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) between 2015 and 2019, according to statistics from China Space News, a publication owned by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). CASC is the state-owned contractor for the Chinese space programme.

Established in December 2014, Chang Guang designs and develops the Jilin-1 satellite constellation, which is a set of commercial remote sensing satellite sensors that are used to capture high-definition video imaging, optical and hyperspectral imaging for various mapping applications, such as environmental monitoring, forest management, smart city, agricultural production, mining, land planning, and beyond.

The Jilin-1 satellite constellation is said to have the capability to visit any place in the world eight to ten times per day, as well as to update a global map twice a year and a national map seven times per year, according to the statement.

Proceeds of the new round will be used to finance further construction of Jilin-1, the development of application products for Chang Guang’s remote sensing data, and talent recruitment.

The Jilin-based company, which has successfully sent 25 Jilin-1 satellites into space, targets to build a constellation of 60 satellites as the first phase of its development plans. For the second phase, it seeks to build a constellation of 138 satellites. The firm did not provide a specific timetable.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.