NZ startup Rocket Lab closes $75m Series D led by Data Collective

Visual from Rocket Lab Facebook page.

Rocket Lab, a New Zealand-based space company, has secured $75 million in Series D funding led by Data Collective, with participation from Promus Ventures and an undisclosed investor.

Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and K1W1 also joined the round. The latest transaction also sees Data Collective Managing Partner Matt Ocko joining Rocket Lab’s board of directors.

Ocko commented: “Currently, small satellite companies wait years to get on orbit, often at the mercy and schedules of larger payloads. With Rocket Lab, this huge backlog now has access to 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, and it should unleash a torrent of financing for space innovation.”

Led by CEO and founder Peter Beck, Rocket Lab aims to provide frequent satellite launch opportunities, which will enable companies to reach orbit to offer services including optimised crop monitoring, improved weather reporting, Internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services.

This latest transaction brings the equity funding that Rocket Lab has raised to date to $148 million and values it in excess of $1 billion. According to the company, proceeds from this investment will be used to expand facilities in Los Angeles and to increase rocket production.

The company will use Electron – an entirely carbon-composite vehicle that uses its 3D-printed Rutherford engines for its main propulsion system – to launch its imaging and communications satellites.

Electron is capable of delivering payloads of up to 150 kg to a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit – the target range for the high-growth constellation-satellite market. Customers include NASA, Planet, Spire and Moon Express.

Beck said, “We finished construction on the world’s first private, orbital launch site in Hawke’s Bay and we’ve delivered the first Electron rocket to the site ahead of our coming test launch. The new funding will enable us to scale up production of Electron to meet the continued high demand we’re seeing from the growing small-satellite industry.”

Also Read:

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Startups, VCs in SE Asia can take several learnings from China, India: Srividya Gopalakrishnan, Duff and Phelps

Starburst, Singapore’s Leonie Hill launch $200m aerospace fund

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.