Rocket startup iSpace has announced that it has closed its latest funding from Matrix Partners China, bringing its total external financing to $90.6 million within a year.
In a statement, the startup said, the new financing will be mainly used to fund the research and development of launchers and engines, as well as the construction of final assembly bases and staff training.
The value of the latest funding, however, was not disclosed.
Founded in 2016, iSpace is develops “high-quality, low-cost, fast-responding” commercial launchers to serve micro-satellite manufacturers, operators, research institutes and universities at home and abroad.
The company has two research centers, one in Beijing and one in Xi’an, capital of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, according to a news release from the company.
iSpace says it is backed by the more than 10 investors who have contributed to the company’s funding round over the past year including Citic Juxin Co., Fosun Group, Shunwei Capital Partners and Shuairan Investment Management.
Its latest backer, Matrix Partners China is the local affiliate of the U.S. venture capital fund that has invested in technology companies such as search giant Baidu Inc. and ride-hailing operator Didi Chuxing.
Competition in China’s space industry has been heating up following the government’s decision in 2014 to allow private companies to build and launch satellites.
iSpace’s main competitor is OneSpace, which last year signed a deal with state-run Chongqing Liangjiang Aviation Industry Investment Group to build a joint research and manufacturing base in the southwestern city of Chongqing
Both iSpace and OneSpace launched their first rockets earlier this year, each claiming theirs was China’s “first rocket developed by a private firm.”