WASHINGTON — French space services company Exotrail announced Feb. 7 it has raised $58 million to scale up production of electric thrusters and expand efforts to provide in-space transportation services.
Exotrail said its Series B round was led by Bpifrance, the French public investment bank; Eurazeo, a European venture capital firm; and CELAD, a software engineering company. All of the company’s investors from previous rounds also participated in the Series B round.
The company says it will use the funding to scale up production of its existing spaceware line of electric propulsion systems and its spacestudio mission design software. It also plans to introduce a new line of operations software called spacetower as well as previously announced plans for a space logistics service called spacedrop. Exotrail refers to the combination of that software, propulsion and transportation services mobilityhub.
“This series B round validates our comprehensive and logistics-driven approach to space mobility,” Jean-Luc Maria, chief executive and co-founder of Exotrail, said in a statement. “We are now ready to accelerate our efforts in positioning our mobilityhub as the world reference for effectively moving assets in space.”
Exotrail announced in November a contract with Isar Aerospace for multiple launches of an orbital transfer vehicle it is developing called spacevan that is part of the spacedrop service. The vehicle, using Exotrail’s electric thrusters, will transport payloads to their designed orbits after launch on Isar’s Spectrum rocket.
In an interview in September, David Henri, co-founder and chief product officer of Exotrail, said that a focus on space logistics service like spacedrop had been in the company’s plans from the beginning, even as it focused initially on propulsion and software. “People know us mostly for propulsion, but we’ve been doing more than that from the beginning,” he said. Using electric propulsion, he argued, was essential to providing the in-space transportation services, like orbital plane changes and transfers to geostationary orbit.
Exotrail said its Series B round was oversubscribed, which it credited to “triple-digit” revenue growth, although the company did not disclose specific revenue figures. The company has 90 employees and plans to hire 70 more over the next year as it expands into the U.S. and Asian markets.