Rocket Lab has completed a Series B financing round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) with full participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures and Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund.
In addition, Lockheed Martin will make a strategic investment in Rocket Lab to support the exploration of future aerospace technologies.
The company will use the funding to complete the Electron launch system and plans to begin operations as a commercial launch provider as early as 2016.
David Cowan, a BVP partner and former Skybox Board member, has joined Rocket Lab’s Board as part of BVP’s funding.
“On the South Pacific islands of New Zealand, a world class team of engineers is designing a rocket that will revolutionise aerospace,” he says.
“With unprecedented economy, reliability, fuel efficiency and frequency, Electron is the transformational launch option that small satellite constellations need to usher in a new era of space colonisation.”
Rocket Lab CEO and 2015 NZ Innovator of the Year Peter Beck says the company is delighted to be partnering with new investors BVP and Lockheed Martin.
“Bessemer Venture Partners, a leading VC firm, actively invests in space startups and Lockheed Martin, an aerospace powerhouse with a deep history in space systems, has been instrumental in all major American space endeavours over the last century," he says.
"We are thrilled to have these global space institutions as part of the Rocket Lab team."
Beck says Rocket Lab expects to reveal further details about the Electron launch system in April 2015 at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
“Lockheed Martin pursues technology investments that help us keep pace with innovation across the industry,” adds Ned Allen, Chief Scientist, Lockheed Martin.
“Rocket Lab’s work could have application in a number of aerospace domains, and we look forward to working with them to complement our overall efforts in small lift capabilities and hypersonic flight technologies.”