March 2, 2015 – Rocket Lab announced today that it has completed a Series B financing round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) with full participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures and K1W1 investment fund. In addition, Lockheed Martin will make a strategic investment in Rocket Lab to support the exploration of future aerospace technologies.
Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing high-frequency, low-cost launches. The company was founded on the belief that small payloads require dedicated small launch vehicles and the flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems.
Rocket Lab CEO 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 endeavors over the last century,” said Beck. “We are thrilled to have these global space institutions as part of the Rocket Lab team.”
Rocket Lab is building an all carbon-composite launch vehicle, named Electron. Electron can rapidly deliver small satellites to commercial orbits at world-first frequency and will be the world’s most affordable launch service for small satellites. The lead-time for businesses to launch a satellite will be reduced from years to weeks through vertical integration with Rocket Lab’s private launch facility in Auckland, New Zealand. The first Electron launch is planned for December 2015.
“Lockheed Martin pursues technology investments that help us keep pace with innovation across the industry,” said Lockheed Martin’s Chief Scientist Ned Allen. “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.”
Rocket Lab expects to reveal further details about the Electron launch system in April 2015 at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.