Kairos Aerospace Raises $26 Million for Its Methane Leak Detection and Emissions Monitoring System

An industrial worker looking at a tablet.

Kairos Aerospace, a methane detection startup, announced it raised $26 million to expand operations of its aerial methane leak and emissions monitoring business.

About Kairos Aerospace

Founded in 2014, Kairos Aerospace is a California-based aerospace and data analytics startup company that uses aerial imaging to monitor large-scale methane leaks and emissions for oilfields in North America. The business services oil and gas companies with the goal of reducing overall methane emissions, which results in more cost-effective and efficient operations for customers.

The startup developed a patented methane spectrometer, the LeakSurveyor. By using aerial imaging, the spectrometer can detect methane leaks or areas where there are greater methane emissions. The company claims the system is able to do so because it “measures the absorption of reflected sunlight by methane molecules.” 

The business added that its methane detection system provides significant benefits to customers as it can monitor 100 square miles per airplane per day, as opposed to field inspections by foot. In addition, Kairos Aerospace claims it can also help customers stay compliant more easily with changing federal regulations, is safer than ground inspections, can build a positive brand reputation, and is a better long-term system for the environment. 

Furthermore, all of the information collected in the aerial imaging is stored and processed in the Kairos Aerospace software. Customers of the startup can review the data to determine where maintenance focus needs to be placed and track the progress of projects to ensure that leaks are fixed and that emissions are reduced. 

With the assistance of the LeakSurveyor, the company stated it has surveyed more than 88,400 pipelines and more than 227,000 wells. This has resulted in the prevention of more than 18.3 billion cubic feet of methane being released into the atmosphere. 

Series C-1 Funding

The aerospace business announced it raised $26 million in a Series C-1 funding round led by DCVC. Previous investors like OGCI Climate Investments and Energy Innovation Capital, among others also participated in this funding round. According to Crunchbase data, Kairos Aerospace previously raised $9.3 million in a Series C funding round earlier this year. 

Steve Deiker, co-founder and CEO of the business, said in a company statement, “We are pleased with the positive impact we have had on the oil and gas industry’s emissions management strategies and outcomes thus far and look forward to further growth…We’re addressing a critical issue in the industry, and this investment allows us to continue our period of rapid growth, scaling in geography, capacity and utility for our clients.”

Methane emissions are a significant environmental problem. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that methane emissions are the second largest leading cause of global warming as it absorbs much more atmospheric energy than carbon dioxide (CO2) in a shorter period of time. 

The startup is addressing the emissions problem through its innovative methane detection system. In 2020 alone, the company surveyed 12,000 square miles of oilfields in eight different oilfield basins. This included surveying more than 96,000 wells and 48,000 miles of pipelines. 

With the new funding, the startup business plans to increase its staff as it gets ready to plan for global expansion. Moreover, the company will continue to improve its methane leak detection and emissions monitoring system.

McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Read more from McKenzie Carpenter