Rocket Lab says it has raised US$140m ($206m) in a Series E funding round - with ACC's investment fund and Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1 among those who chipped in funds.

ACC is a newcomer to Rocket Lab, and its presence will help address qualms about whether the aerospace outfit is a New Zealand company.

However, Rocket Lab has not revealed the size of each participant's stake, though it has said the round was "led" by the Australian Government's Future Fund - meaning it put in the most money.

Nor has it given a post-money valuation for the privately-held company other than to say it has now "soared" past the US$1 billion mark (the figure given when Rocket Lab raised US$75m in 2017; the company has now raised a total US$288m).


The Series E round included participation from current investors Greenspring Associates, Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (aka the Data Collective) and Promus Ventures.

Military-industrial outfit Lockheed Martin - recently subject to a jibe from Michael Stiassny - is not listed, indicating its stake would have watered down by the Series E round.

Funding will support continued Electron vehicle production expansion, new launch sites in the US and UK and three new major research and development programs.

A spokesman for ACC refused to say how much the Crown agency had invested in Rocket Lab, citing "commercial reasons," but described it as a "meaningful amount."

The funding round follows Rocket Lab's first successful launch last week.

Tindall says, "The team at Rocket Lab has been inspirational and have now proved themselves to be the only operational private small launch provider globally. Their contribution to the NZ tech sector will continue to increase as they ramp up the launch frequency."

On Monday, founder and CEO Peter Beck told the Herald that Rocket Lab will be cash-flow positive by the end of this year.

Beck says 2600 satellite launches are planned over the next four years - representing more than US$3b in potential business.