SAN FRANCISCO – Italian ground segment provider Leaf Space announced plans March 24 to establish a U.S. office to serve government and commercial customers.

“There is a clear appetite among U.S. satellite and launch vehicle operators to simplify, outsource and maximize the value from ground services and we believe that need is only going to grow,” Jai Dialani, Leaf Space U.S. managing director and business development lead, said in a statement.

Leaf Space, founded in 2014, offers ground segment services to customers including Astrocast of Switzerland, D-Orbit of Italy, the European Space Agency, Toronto-based Kepler Communications, Kleos Space of Luxembourg, and U.S. firms Momentus and Swarm Technologies.

Leaf Space provides ground segment services in North America for Kleos, Kepler, Momentus and Swarm.

“We have been working with Leaf Space on our ground segment operations for over a year and the expertise they provide is very valuable to us,” Kleos CEO Andrew Bowyer said in a statement. “Leaf Space’s [ground segment as a service] flexibility and commitment to partnership allowed us to build a solution that fits our individual needs.”

Leaf Space currently offers ground segment services for satellite and rocket launch, early satellite operations, ongoing mission operations and decommissioning of space assets.

The ground segment market is expanding as the small satellite industry grows.

“We anticipate the demand for [ground segment as a service] solutions will continue to grow,” Jonata Puglia, Leaf Space group co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “Leaf Space’s expansion to the U.S. is an exciting next step for our company.”

Leaf Space announced in January that it raised 5 million euros ($5.92 million) in a Series A investment round that brought its total funding to date to 10 million euros.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...