BusinessDebrisVC/PE

Kayhan Space Closes $7M Seed Extension, Updates Pathfinder

Kayhan Space raised a $7M seed extension ahead of the release of Pathfinder 3.0, an update to the free version of its space traffic coordination software, the company announced this morning. Space Capital and EVE Atlas funded the round.

The company has raised $11M to date across three rounds to support its goal of simplifying and automating collision avoidance maneuvers in space. More specifically, this additional funding will help fund its space traffic management (STM) platform and grow its customer base.

Rules of the road

Kayhan’s primary product is Pathfinder, a space traffic coordination platform that informs users of possible maneuvers in the case of conjunctions. The platform has a free tier with basic features and a paid tier called Pathfinder Pro that offers additional capabilities.

Next month, Kayhan is planning to roll out a beta version of the Pathfinder update that free-tier users will be able to opt into. The new features will take Kayhan’s awareness data and conjunction tracking and use it to help operators decide who is responsible for collision avoidance.

“If you have a conjunction with another satellite operator, who should maneuver in that case, and how can we come to agreement on that now so that you don’t have to figure it out once the time comes?” Matthew Shouppe, Kayhan’s chief commercial officer, told Payload. “That was great, but it only existed on a piece of paper. And so we actually have taken that and we’ve operationalized it into the next version of Pathfinder.”

The responsibility assigned for maneuvering will follow guidelines set by the Space Safety Coalition that delineate who is responsible for maneuvering in conjunctions between classes of satellites.

  • The classes: unmaneuverable, minimally maneuverable, maneuverable, autonomous (i.e., Starlink), and human spaceflight. 
  • “We’ve built in mechanisms to allow operators to autonomously coordinate and maneuver responsibly with one another, not only autonomously, but also using a set of best practices that already existed in the industry and are respected and signed off by a few dozen satellite operators,” Shouppe said.

Scaling up

With the new funding, Kayhan is planning significant growth to track with its capabilities for making the space domain safer as well as to meet customer demand.

  • The team is planning to grow 50%, from 20 employees to 30+.
  • Kayhan is also opening a DC-area office and taking steps to broaden its relationship with US government customers.
  • The company currently has ~20 customers managing 500+ satellites in orbit.
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