Rocket startup ABL Space Systems valued at $2.4 billion after latest funding

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(Reuters) - ABL Space Systems, a maker of low-cost small satellite launch vehicles, said on Monday it had secured a valuation of $2.4 billion after raising $200 million in fresh capital in a funding round from its existing investors.

The company said it intends to use the capital raised to scale production of its RS1 launch vehicle and for research and development.

ABL said an "existing investor syndicate" led and participated in the round, but the company did not disclose details.

ABL did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

With the latest investment, California-based ABL has now raised $420 million since its founding in 2017. Its backers include funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc and Fidelity Management & Research.

ABL said it currently has contracts with 14 customers across commercial, defense, intelligence, and science sectors totaling over 75 launches.

The fundraise is suggestive of the soaring interest in space transportation companies. Other companies from the sector such as Rocket Lab USA Inc, Astra and billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit clinched deals with blank-check mergers earlier this year to go public.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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