(Yicai Global) July 3 -- Chinese private space startup iSpace Technology has closed series-A funding led by Matrix Partners China and will use proceeds for research and development related to launch vehicles, liquid oxygen and methane engines and the construction of a testing base.
The Beijing-based firm has received over CNY600 million (USD90 million) in financing to date with CITIC Juxin Capital Management, Boyucheng Investment and Long Tai Blue Mountain Investment Management among the previous investors, People's Daily reported.
The commercial space sector has taken off globally in recent years, driven by government subsidies aimed at bringing down the massive costs associated with the sector. 2017 was widely regarded as a watershed year for the private space race as venture capitalists injected USD3.9 billion into the sector dominated by Musk's SpaceX as well as satellite communications providers OneWeb Ltd. and O3b Networks Ltd.
The average cost of a commercial launch is expected to fall to USD4.6 billion by 2025, USD2.4 billion less than government launches, a report from aerospace investment group Space Angels Ltd. says.
Founded in October 2016, iSpace focuses on providing launch vehicle design and launch service solutions. The company aims to build commercial launch vehicles with high quality, low cost and quick response.
In April this year, the company successfully launched Hyperbola-1S rocket from a Hainan launch site with a flight altitude topping 100km and a maximum flight speed exceeding 1200 meters-per-second. It marked a successful maiden flight for this type of rocket and also the first flight of a launch vehicle developed by iSpace. The firm company will also test launch its Hyperbola-1Z payload in the second half of this year.
Editor: William Clegg