Chinese private satellite firm Galaxy Space attracts new funds

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/19 18:36:02

Photo: Courtesy of Galaxy Space

Chinese satellite company Galaxy Space has completed a new round of fund-raising that could push its market value to almost 8 billion yuan ($1.22 billion), making it the first unicorn enterprise in China's commercial space and satellite internet industry.

The new round was led by Nantong Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Investment fund and included a subsidiary of CICC Capital, as well as Shunwei Capital, 5Y Capital, Legend Capital and Source Code Capital, according to a statement Galaxy Space sent to the Global Times on Thursday. The company did not disclose the funding amount. 

The fund-raising comes as China speeds up its push for space commercialization amid a heated global race. 

The nation also plans to construct new digital infrastructure, including 5G services and satellite internet.

Galaxy Space's founder Xu Ming told the Global Times that with the new funds, the company will focus on technology research and development, and it will enhance its ability to mass produce low-cost internet-signal satellites.

Galaxy Space aims to raise its annual satellite capacity to 300-500 units at its factory in Nantong, East China's Jiangsu Province - a gigafactory that the company said could bring it closer to the Starlink satellite of Elon Musk's space venture SpaceX.

Starlink is the US space enterprise's plan to launch a constellation of up to 42,000 satellites, with hopes that those satellites will bring high-speed internet to every corner of the world. As of early October, SpaceX had launched more than 700 satellites. Musk said in August that its Starlink unit is building 120 satellites per month.

Galaxy Space announced in late September that it would build an intelligent manufacturing super factory in Nantong. According to Xu, that factory will narrow the gap of satellite mass production ability between China and the US to two years.

Xu noted that Galaxy Space's second broadband satellite has entered the stage of final assembly.

On January 16, its Satellite-1 was delivered, and it has been in orbit for more than half a year. Satellite-1 is China's first low-Earth orbit (LEO) broadband satellite with a transmission capacity of 24 Gbps.

Founded in 2016, Galaxy Space is a private satellite company that is committed to mass produce low-cost, high-performance small satellites, and build the world's leading LEO broadband satellite constellation and offer global coverage with a 5G communication network.

Four Chinese private space start-ups — Commsat, Landscape, iSpace and Galactic Energy — have raised about 2.86 billion yuan so far this year, news website reported. 

Global Times


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