Chinese Private Rocket Developer iSpace Raises $172M in Series B Funding

iSpace on Tuesday announced that it completed a series B round of financing worth nearly 1.2 billion yuan ($172 million), setting a new record for a single round of funding in China’s commercial space field.

This round of financing was led by Beijing Financial Street Capital Operation Center. CICC Alpha, Taizhonghe Capital and several existing shareholders also participated.

SEE ALSO: China’s Reusable Liquid Rocket Engine, JD-1, Developed by iSpace, Passes 200-Second Continuous Variable Thrust Long-Range Test Run

The Beijing-based company said that it intends to use the funds to develop its ‘Hyperbola’ series launch vehicles and ‘JD’ series reusable liquid oxygen-methane rocket engines, as well as technical talent hiring to support new developments.

iSpace was the first private Chinese company to successfully launch a satellite into orbit. On July 25, 2019, the company’s Hyperbola-1 (Y1) rocket sent two satellites into low Earth orbit from Jiuquan launch center. iSpace said it will launch the Hyperbola-1 (Y2) rocket this fall.

The company is currently developing a larger rocket, called Hyperbola-2, which is 28 meters tall, with a diameter of 3.35 meters. The vehicle will be reusable and capable of vertical landing. It is expected to perform its first full orbital flight at the end of next year.

JD-1, a 15-ton thrust reusable liquid oxygen-methane engine independently developed by iSpace, successfully passed a 200-second continuous variable thrust long-range test run on July 8. It will empower the launch of Hyperbola-2. The 100-ton thrust reusable JD-2 engine is also in development, the company said.

Founded in 2016, iSpace previously raised $104.5 million in series A round. Matrix Partners China, CDH Investments, Baidu and others participated.