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Exotrail Expands To US To Serve Commercial and Government Customers

Exotrail, a French space mobility company, has established two U.S. subsidiaries as part of its strategy to cater to the growing number of American clients.

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Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Tue Aug 08 2023Written by Zac Aubert

Exotrail, a French space mobility company, has established two U.S. subsidiaries as part of its strategy to cater to the growing number of American clients.

On August 7, Exotrail unveiled the formation of Exotrail U.S. Inc. and Exotrail U.S. Federal Inc., aimed at serving the American market. This move is an integral aspect of the company's expansion initiative, facilitated by a $58 million Series B funding round conducted in February.

"Exotrail’s investment in the U.S. represents a significant milestone for us" - Jean-Luc Maria, CEO of Exotrail

 Exotrail offers a range of electric propulsion systems named "spaceware," along with mission planning and operational software. Additionally, the company is developing "spacedrop," a space logistics solution equipped with a tug designed to deploy satellites into their designated orbits.

Exotrail's two subsidiaries will cater to distinct clienteles. Exotrail U.S. is dedicated to supporting commercial entities, facilitating the adoption of French technologies, while the federal entity exclusively concentrates on U.S. government initiatives, whether civilian or defense-oriented.

Exotrail U.S. will initially focus on selling spaceware thrusters directly to American customers, aiming to alleviate the challenges associated with exporting these thrusters from France to the U.S. The subsidiary will also establish software services on U.S. cloud computing infrastructure. Tyler Browder, co-founder and former CEO of space software firm Kubos, has been appointed as the CEO of Exotrail U.S. 

"We already have more than five customers in North America, with commercial partners ranging from traditional prime to new space operators like Astro Digital, Starfish Space, and NASA on the civil space side. Accelerating our growth in both institutional and commercial markets is instrumental to Exotrail’s future.” - Tyler Browder, CEO of Exotrail U.S.

Exotrail has observed heightened demand for propulsion systems due to the increasing size of small satellites, transitioning from cubesats to microsats. Despite some challenges faced by certain companies in developing and showcasing orbital transfer vehicles, there is growing interest in this technology. Exotrail has ambitious plans for the upcoming year, including the establishment of a production facility within the United States for its spaceware thrusters. This facility will also serve as an integration center for spacedrop vehicles, eliminating the need for U.S. customers to transport their satellites to Europe for integration and then back to the U.S. for launch.

The selection of a suitable city for these facilities is based on factors such as customer base, supply chain, and talent pool.The company aims to initiate the production of spaceware thrusters at the U.S. site by the close of 2024.

Exotrail already boasts a growing customer roster, including Astro Digital, Starfish Space, and York Space Systems, among others. Approximately one-third of the company's customer base is located in North America, with another third in Europe and the remainder in Asia.

The establishment of the U.S. subsidiaries is expected to bolster Exotrail's presence and capabilities in the American market, enhancing support for existing clients and attracting new ones. The company anticipates becoming a key contractor for both commercial and government projects within the United States.