A Beijing-based private space launch company, LandSpace, announced on Sept. 9 that it completed its C+ round of financing worth nearly 1.2 billion yuan ($172 million), with an accumulated financing amount of more than 1.8 billion yuan since the past year.
The company continues to use the new capital injection towards the development and launch preparation of their Zhuque-2 liquid-fuelled rocket, and further research and development into reusable rocket technology.
This round of financing led by Sequoia Capital, Country Garden Holdings, MatrixPartners China, Cornerstone Capital, and also have investments from National Enterprise Development Fund, Huzhou Saiyuan Government Fund, Lightspeed China, Cedarlake Capital, Lakeshores International, Sunac China Holdings, Noah Holdings, and Yanfu Investment, old shareholders LuXin Venture Capital, YiSheng Investment, Joint Capital following suit.
At the beginning of its establishment, LandSpace aimed at medium and large-scale liquid rockets products with high technical barriers, high reliability and low cost. The company was the first to choose the medium and large-scale liquid oxygen methane rocket route. At present, the company has a production base in Huzhou, which is expected to realize mass production as early as 2022.
By the end of August 2020, LandSpace successfully completed the full-system thermal test of the “Zhuque” family 80 + 10 two-type liquid oxygen methane rocket engine. The Zhuque-2 liquid carrier rocket has also completed important ground tests and the components of each subsystem have been successively delivered.
At present, global commercial space companies are targeting Musk’s SpaceX as the benchmark, especially the reusable rocket technology created by SpaceX. In this regard, “We are researching on schemes and algorithms for the first stage of the reusable rocket technology, but there are still several steps to go before commercialization and reusability can be achieved,” said Changwu Zhang, CEO of LandSpace.
Reusable rocket technology has two primary aspects: On one hand, it lays the foundation for verifying the reliability of rocket flight; the other is to test the engine core hardware, the overall design of the heavy rocket, and the subsequent supply chain.
According to China Business Network, LandSpace is a commercial rocket enterprise, which has capability of a complete chain of design-production-test-launch. Global satellite launches have brought unprecedented market opportunities to domestic aerospace companies.
“In the past five years, China’s private aerospace industry has made great progress. It is feasible for low orbit space transportation to be achieved by private companies. The success of SpaceX promoted the development of aerospace commercialization. Due to the growth of communication and other demands, China has ushered in a fruitful period for commercial aerospace,” said Luo Zhu, founding partner and chairman of Ginkgo biloba.
Rockets, as the only means of transportation for satellite internet construction, have brought significant opportunities for companies in China. Since the beginning of this year, private rocket companies have obtained large amounts of financing. Tianbing Technology raised hundreds of millions yuan in A round of financing. Star Power and Star Glory have also completed Pre-A and B round of financing.