InternationalStartups

Exotrail raises $58M for spacestudio, spacedrop, spaceware, and spacetower

Exotrail SpaceVan render
Exotrail SpaceVan render. Image: Exotrail

Exotrail has raised $58M, the French space logistics provider announced this week. The startup will tap the funds to fuel: 

  1. The “scale-up” of its existing product suite
  2. An accelerated go-to-market plan for new products
  3. Abroad ops, with beachheads in the American and Asian markets

The cap table

Bpifrance, a French public investment bank, led the $58M Series B round via its SPI and Innovation Defense Funds. Bpifrance had already backed Exotrail through its F3A and Digital Venture investment vehicles (safe to say the French sovereign wealth fund has a lot of funds). 

  • Eurazeo, a pan-European venture fund, and CELAD, a global software engineering firm, joined the round. 
  • Also participating were all of Exotrail’s past investors, according to the startup. It’s a long list: 360Capital, Karista, Irdi Capital Investissement, Innovacom, iXO Private Equity, NCI-Waterstart, BNP Paribas, and Banque Populaire Val de France.

The little-s family

Founded in 2015, Exotrail has four products: spacestudio, spacedrop, spaceware, and spacetower. Yes, they’re lower case…and they’re also all trademarked. 

The “scale-up”

In its Series B announcement, Exotrail refers to spaceware and spacestudio as its two “known” products.

  • spacestudio is a SaaS product that offers operators mission design software. 
  • spaceware is a flight-proven family of flexible, high-thrust electric propulsion systems for 5–1,000kg satellites. Exotrail plans to scale production from 50+ spacewares in 2022 to 100+ in 2023 and 300+ in 2024.
Image: Exotrail

The new products

Exotrail will also tap its new war chest to bring its spacedrop and spacetower products to market. 

  • spacedrop is a launch and on-orbit deployment service for nano, micro, and small satellites lacking their own propulsion. spacedrop will launch on a SpaceX Transporter rideshare mission later this year. 
  • spacetower refers to a software suite that will let operators fly and monitor their satellite fleets.  

Finding traction

Despite the macro headwinds plaguing the private markets, Exotrail says it was able to raise its hearty round due to “outstanding commercial performance” last year.

The startup has booked steady, triple-digit revenue growth in recent years and tripled its backlog in 2022. With a product portfolio that already straddles software and hardware, Exotrail is focused on delivering its full vision of end-to-end space mobility and meeting customers where they are in North America, Europe, and Asia.

+ While we’re here: Last October, as part of its €54B France 2030 Covid recovery package, the French government earmarked 2.9% of funds (€1.55B) for space initiatives. Exotrail received the only space tug award, which will support a 2024 demo mission to validate its span initial demo mission in 2024 to validate the ability of its SpaceVan orbital transfer vehicle product in early development. A follow-on mission is planned for 2025 that will carry the first customer payload.

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