Launching Capella Space
Pear Launchpad Helps Companies Get from Zero to Series A.
Pejman Nozad’s first introduction to Payam Banazadeh came on Halloween in 2014, in which Payam was described as a man with “unlimited potential” by Firouz Naderi, NASA’s Program Director for Mars Exploration. Over the next 2 years, Payam consistently attended Pear events, getting to know Pejman and the Pear community. This was Pejman’s first signal that Payam could be an exceptional founder. A year ago, when the two met to discuss Payam’s new company Cappella Space, Pejman was moved by Payam’s vision of innovation in space technologies. Pejman pitched Pear’s Launchpad program as an opportunity for Cappella Space to get to the next level. Today, with $12 million raised in Cappella Space’s Series A round, Payam is on his way to creating a category-defining company.
From the start, Capella Space had to stay alive in a competitive market. The landscape of satellite companies included Ursa, Iceye, RADARSAT, COSMO-SkyMed, and more. “One of the biggest concerns we had during the Launchpad time was our ability to complete our promised technology demo within the short time frame,” writes Payam. Along with recruiting, regulatory, and fundraising concerns, Capella Space had the challenge of dealing with the uncertainty of hardware vendors.
On Launchpad, Payam writes
“Overall Launchpad gave us a good framework to make progress on a set schedule and timeline. It opened doors, gave us the momentum we needed for our seed round of fundraising, and put us in touch with good mentors so we could grow both at a personal and professional level.”
On Payam, Pejman writes
“From the beginning, I was very impressed by how articulate he was about space and how much he was willing to sacrifice. His vision for innovating satellites and the deep knowledge he had for space technologies convinced me that he had the right background and the right team. For us, having Payam at Launchpad was really a win-win situation.”
The Pear Launchpad program pairs a dozen founding teams with industry mentors and workshop programs that include topics such as “Getting from $0 to $1M in Sales” and “Building a World Class Product.” The program also focuses on building a community of founders through social events like happy hours, live music, and soccer tournaments.
With Capella Space’s latest funding round coming almost 1 year after Payam’s pitch to Pejman, the company joins Viz.ai, Nova Credit, Kofa, Xseer, Synocate, BlackSMS, and Allocate.ai as Launchpad ’16 alum that have raised rounds since leaving the program. The Pear team, led by Pejman and partners Mar Hershenson and Ajay Kamat, is excited to begin working with the next batch of Launchpad companies in late June.
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