Chinese startup Rocket Pi has secured tens of millions of yuan in pre-A round financing, led by Huagai Capital and followed by several famous angel investors in the hard technology field. The funds will be used for R&D and manufacturing of the firm’s first satellite and rocket.
Public information shows that Rocket Pi has built a “space biology lab” around the core capabilities of carrier rockets to provide commercial space technology products and services for the biomedical industry. The General Assembly and Survey Base of Rocket Pi has landed in Taicang High-tech Zone, Suzhou, and it has signed cooperation agreements with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Ruijin Hospital and other units to jointly explore the space biomedical market.
The company’s biological satellite is planned to be launched into orbit in September 2022, realizing in-orbit observation of various properties of cells and bacteria under microgravity conditions and receiving observation data on the ground.
The first Chinese space bio-payload, “Spark-1,” developed by Rocket Pi, made its first successful flight in December 2021. At present, the specific design of the bio-payload of “Spark-2” cell morphology is about to be completed, and the Spark series of bio-payloads are scheduled to complete multiple commercial launch missions and biological satellite launch missions in 2022.
Cheng Wei, Founder of Rocket Pi, said: “The main goals of Rocket Pi this year are to manufacture and assemble the first self-developed liquid oxygen methane rocket Darwin, and to successfully put the first biological satellite of China’s commercial space into orbit. This financing has been led by non-traditional aerospace industry investment institutions Huagai Capital, a leading fund in the Chinese biomedical field. This is a prominent manifestation of the advantages of Rocket Pi’s business model, which uses aerospace to upgrade other industries and create a new business cooperation network. This round of financing funds and the bio-industry resources behind Huagai Capital will play a multi-win role in promoting the company’s expansion of payload market this year.”
Xu Xiaolin, Chairman of Huagai Capital, said: “Although Rocket Pi is an aerospace enterprise, whose main business is R&D and manufacturing of spacecraft, its core business model is to upgrade the biomedical industry on Earth and to build future bio-related industries such as space pharmaceuticals and breeding. This coincides with the direction of Huagai Capital, which serves biomedical industry companies. Therefore, we are willing to open up the potential market of space bio-payload by investing in Rocket Pi.”