Rocket Lab expanded its lead on the budding industry of small rocket companies, announcing a $140 million investment round led by Australia's sovereign wealth fund.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNBC this was "a really important" moment for his 12-year-old company.
"We're kind of graduating out of Silicon Valley and into the much larger pools of capital," Beck said. "These pools of capital aren't looking for startup companies with lots of risk. They're looking for stable and for assured growth and returns."
Australia's nearly $150 billion Future Fund invested along with Rocket Lab's earlier backers including Bessemer Venture Partners, Promus Ventures, Khosla Ventures, K1W1, Data Collective and Greenspring Associates. New Zealand's Accident Compensation Corporation also invested for the first time.
The company has now raised more than $288 million in total funding. It wouldn't disclose its new valuation, but said it is "soaring past its previous" appraisal of $1.2 billion.
Adam Spice, Rocket Lab's chief financial officer, said the investment would give it "dry powder" to expand its role in the space industry. "The investors ... believe the opportunity is finally real."