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TRAXyL Raises $5 Million in Oversubscribed Seed Round Led by Draper Associates Also executes a Strategic Investment and Development Agreement with In-Q-Tel

October 2022

Gainesville, VA:  TRAXyL, Inc., an industry disrupter in the optical fiber installation industry, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed $5 million series seed funding round led by Draper Associates, a global venture capital firm investing in industry transforming companies. TRAXyL expects to use the net proceeds of its financing to further develop its minimally-disruptive fiber-optic installation technology, manufacture additional installation equipment to meet customer demand, and grow its team.

In addition to closing its seed round, TRAXyL also announced a strategic investment and product development agreement with In-Q-Tel, Inc., the non-profit strategic investor that identifies cutting-edge technologies to advance and enhance the national security capabilities for the U.S. and its allies. This agreement will accelerate the development of TRAXyL’s next generation, flush-mount fiber optic installation technology.

“We are excited to announce that we have closed a $5 million seed round led by Draper Associates, with additional support from Felton Group LLC, Industrious Ventures, 1862 Capital, Precursor Ventures, Ring Ventures (an Alumni Ventures Fund), Capital Factory, and angel investors,” said Daniel Turner, Co-Founder and CEO of TRAXyL.

Stephen Carter, Co-Founder and COO, added: “The dedicated support of such a high caliber group of investors also enabled TRAXyL to receive a strategic investment from In-Q-Tel, and to apply for additional non-dilutive funding from the U.S. Air Force AFWERX program and the National Science Foundation SBIR Phase IIB program. IQT’s strategic investment in the company will enable TRAXyL to further develop FiberTRAX, our “painted” fiber installation capability, which will greatly expand the use case of our product offering.”

Daniel Turner continued, “We are very excited to be partnered with each of our investors as we move forward to deliver highspeed communications to the most underserved and hardest-to-reach areas. We are now in overdrive mode to build upon our existing technology and hire the best and brightest in operations, sales, and technical disciplines.”

“At Draper Associates, we support and grow companies that are transformative in their respective industries,” said Tim Draper, Founding Partner of Draper Associates. “TRAXyL’s ability to quickly and efficiently install high speed communication links in a minimally disruptive manner creates an opportunity to transform the telecommunications and construction industries and to connect the hardest to reach areas of our cities, nations, and planet with first-class, high speed communication lines. We are thrilled to promote the growth of this team and the further roll-out of this exciting technology.”

Lewis Ringelman P.C., based in Denver, Colorado, served as legal counsel to TRAXyL in each of these transactions.

About Draper Associates
Founded in 1985 by Tim Draper, Draper Associates is the leader in early-stage venture capital that continues to invest in technology companies that show exceptional promise. The firm’s investments have included Coinbase, Baidu, Tesla, Skype, SpaceX, Twitch, Hotmail, Focus Media, Robinhood, Carta, and other industry unicorns at the early stage. Draper Associates has built a reputation for encouraging entrepreneurs to drive their businesses to greatness, to transform industries with new technologies, and to build platforms for extraordinary growth, jobs and wealth creation. To learn more, visit www.draper.vc.

About In-Q-Tel
In-Q-Tel is the not-for-profit, strategic investor that serves the national security interests of the U.S. intelligence and national security community and its allies, providing the most sophisticated source of strategic technical knowledge and capabilities. For more information, visit www.iqt.org.


TRAXyL Press Contact
Daniel Turner | Co-Founder & CEO info@traxyl.com
SOURCE TRAXyL, Inc.

CEO, Daniel Turner and COO, Stephen Carter Illuminating Interview about TRAXyL

August 2022

When a cable installer told Dan Turner’s father that it would be “impossible” to bring fiber optic internet cable to his home, Turner decided to prove them wrong. If the installer could drive on the road, then they could use that same road to bring the internet home.   After sharing the idea with friend Stephen Carter, the two budding entrepreneurs put their engineering backgrounds to work. Their business became to close the digital divide separating communities that have high-speed internet access and those that do not, and that mission forms the tagline of their company, TRAXyL: “Here to anywhere.”  

They worked nights and weekends creating prototype after prototype with a simple concept: use durable resins to adhere and seal fiber optic cables along the surfaces of roads. The widest part of the digital divide is the last mile into rural communities. In these locations, traditional trenching methods are either too costly or impractical to warrant their use. This idea does not necessarily replace traditional trenching or drilling installation methods, but rather offers another technique to internet installers so fiber optic cable can be delivered to all communities. TRAXyL’s lower cost method of installing the fiber optic cable on the roadways could solve this issue and help close the digital divide. And they are well on their way to making that idea a reality. The co-founders set up shop in 2014 and were excited to move to Prince William County in 2021. In addition to several National Science Foundation grants and exponential growth, TRAXyL added an IGNITE program grant in spring 2022.

TRAXyL Installs Fiber at St. John Catholic Church Campus in Warrenton, VA

July 2022

TRAXyL Installs Fiber at St. John Catholic Church Campus in Warrenton, VA

TRAXyL installed FiberTRAX, its patented minimally disruptive fiber optic network into the surface layer of pavement – both asphalt and concrete in the parking lot at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and school.  Utilizing the company’s TRAXtor machine, the fiber cable network was installed between six buildings in a fraction of the time of traditional trenching methods, with no disruption to any infrastructure, and at significantly less cost.  Since 2017, the company has installed working fiber in eight states across the country, with Warrenton being the home of their first-ever embedding process.

“The traditional process for installing fiber optic cables typically involves digging a trench or cutting through concrete slabs. It can take days or even weeks to install the cables and replace the landscaping before the roads are ready to drive on again. It involves more labor and machinery and is more expensive than TRAXyL’s method,” CEO Daniel Turner said. “We did the job in two days, which is pretty unheard of.”

Keith Turner, TRAXyL VP of Customer Experience, points to a FiberTRAX link and describes how seamless the transition is from asphalt to concrete, and through a step-up curb transition.

The embedding process does not degrade the strength of the concrete. The protective coating has a “stronger bond to asphalt than asphalt has to itself,” VP Customer Experience, Keith Turner said.

TRAXyL’s embedding process involves etching out about a half-inch in the surface layer of the pavement, laying the fiber cables down, and adding protective coatings that cure and harden within 30 minutes, ready for cars to drive over it. The fiber cables are essentially painted onto the pavement; FiberTRAX is installed using their patented TRAXtor machine, which can lay 1,000 feet of fiber cable in one hour.

Bill Helsel, director of maintenance for St. John, said that the installation was quick and easy. “Nothing got disrupted,” Helsel said. “That was the beauty of this process.” He also said that FiberTRAX created huge cost savings for St. John.

“As well as keeping the integrity of the pavement, we do not leave the pavement uneven, so when the embedding process is completed, the surface is as smooth as it was before, making it ADA compliant. That means that a person in a wheelchair would have no issues moving on a sidewalk that may have fiber cables embedded into it. The finished product at St. John’s is a completely flush installation, meaning the fiber cables go virtually unnoticed.”

TRAXyL is changing the landscape (without damaging the landscape) of fiber cable installation.


Keith Turner, TRAXyL vice president of sales, holds a cross-section of a fiber cable embedded in the pavement.
Keith Turner, TRAXyL vice president of sales, holds a cross-section of a fiber cable embedded in the pavement.
Photo by Abby Zimmardi/Piedmont Journalism Foundation

 

Full article: Fauquier Times Article @ St. John campus benefits from first-ever embedded fiber cable system

TRAXyL Opens New Offices in Prince William County

June 2022

New Office in Prince William County

TRAXyL is proud to announce the opening of their new headquarters at 7669 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA, 20155.  The high-tech minimally disruptive fiber optic installation company’s continued growth required bigger offices.  Having secured contracts with United States Air Force, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the National Science Foundation, the company is growing rapidly.  Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a $25,000 grant from the Economic Development Opportunity Fund (EDOF) to assist the company during the relocation. CEO and co-founder Daniel Turner said, “We needed the space to grow for new employees, and especially for the R&D required for new models of our TRAXtor fiber installation machine.  Prince William County is a great location where we can interact with both our government and commercial customers. It is much more affordable than counties closer to D.C., yet still has robust infrastructure necessary to support our growing business.”

Founded in 2014, the startup is a pioneer in developing equipment, technology and expertise to provide minimally disruptive fiber optic installation for municipalities, telecommunications, infrastructure projects much faster than traditional trenching, micro-trenching, and other last-mile solutions. TRAXyL “paints” fiber optics cables into existing road or runway infrastructure as well as in rural neighborhoods.

Stephen Carter, COO and co-founder added, “from the very beginning, we’ve met our customers’ needs across the nation, and now we are growing rapidly, so when it came time to find office and manufacturing space, we knew we wanted to be in Prince William County, the place we both grew up. It is much more affordable than counties closer to D.C., yet still has robust infrastructure necessary to support our growing business.”

“We believe that there is great engineering talent available in Prince William County who would love to work with a high-tech, successful startup.  And who are tired of making the commute towards D.C.,” said Turner.

“Our approach is to make all businesses feel like they are home, no matter the size of the business,” said Christina Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

“Start-ups bring high-growth energy, and those business can benefit from the low cost of entry our county provides.”

“Building and retaining a robust economy remains a priority focus of our strategic plan,” said Ann Wheeler, chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Attracting companies like TRAXyL is an example of how we are tactically using our resources to grow jobs and investment in our community even during challenging times.”

“We are committed to building a pro-business climate through competitive opportunities,” said Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson.

“TRAXyL is the perfect example of an innovative company able to expand through the incentives provided by the county. The result is one that builds on the ever-increasing diversity of our economy.”

Successfully Tested in Virginia’s new Smart Community Testbed

May 2022

VIPC, Industry-Leading Partners, and Stafford County Collaborate to Deploy Innovative Smart City Connectivity Solutions at Virginia Smart Community Testbed
TRAXyL, a minimally disruptive fiber installation technology company, together with five-industry leading partners collaborated to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) funded Virginia Smart Community Testbed (Testbed) in Stafford County. The Testbed is the home for developing smart community technology for the Commonwealth and a showcase for all 95 counties in the state. It is the first Smart Community testbed involving an IoT platform fully integrated with 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and other new and innovative technology solutions. Networking For Future (NFF), a performance-focused information technology (IT) business solutions provider supervised the project.

Stafford County and VIPC, together with private partner OST, Inc., opened the Testbed in May 2021. “The Testbed is a true public-private partnership involving multiple industry partners who focus on relevant and practical use cases to produce innovative solutions using emerging and smart technologies” according to VIPC, CTO David Ihrie. “Stafford is proud to be the home of the Testbed for the Commonwealth and to be the host for this exciting Pilot Project,” said John Holden, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for Stafford County.

Starting in November 2021, TRAXyL joined NFF, Signify, Cisco, ExpressTek, and Helicore in a Testbed project to demonstrate how cities and rural communities throughout Virginia will be able to:

  • Efficiently and securely deploy a Smart Community connectivity grid
  • Streamline broadband fiber deployment and wireless technologies
  • Expand public access to the Internet and improve public services and safety
  • Simultaneously support other IoT applications (e.g., cameras, sensors, intelligent lighting, and traffic congestion monitors)

Each industry-leading partner provided the following:

  • TRAXyL – FiberTRAX “painted” fiber solution to the Smart Pole 
  • NFF – Project design and management, network and security installation, and ongoing performance management and maintenance
  • Signify – Broadband Luminaires, IoT Smart Pole, and Interact (connected lighting system and software)
  • Cisco – Meraki Wi-Fi and camera hardware and software
  • Express-Tek – Outside plant engineering and deployment services 
  • Helicore – Smart Pole foundation and structural package

The Testbed project produced replicable best practices for the deployment of broadband Internet and IoT solutions that can be adopted and implemented at the local and regional levels. The project results can be utilized by all levels of government as part of their smart community’s planning and policies.

Testbed project results:

  • 80% faster design, permitting, and technology integration time frames versus the usual broadband Internet project, with a higher level of security
  • 75% faster deployment of fiber optic cables to support broadband connectivity projects in cities and rural communities (no underground cabling or trenching)
  • 90% faster implementation of secure Gigabit speed wireless broadband networks in urban, suburban, and rural communities
  • Reduced energy and increased cost savings for municipalities via intelligent lighting

The project team also shared product capabilities and best practices with one another and the Testbed team, which provided deeper insights into how these innovative solutions solve broadband Internet and IoT challenges.

NFF will provide the following ongoing support to the Testbed:

  • Asset life-cycle management
  • Network and security upgrades and optimization
  • Network and security systems maintenance and performance management

“The future of on-demand fiber is now a reality in Virginia,” Daniel Turner, Chief Executive Officer for TRAXyL said. “Where access to fiber is unavailable, expensive to deploy, or delayed due to factors, such as permitting or trenching, TRAXyL provides a customizable outside plant fiber optic solution at significantly lower cost and faster deployment times than traditional fiber solutions.”

“Fostering innovation and improving secure public Internet access is important to enhancing the lives of Virginians,” commented VIPC’s David Ihrie, CTO and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “This innovative Smart Community technology will give cities and rural communities throughout Virginia the opportunity to stay connected, be safer, and work smarter.”

“Security and scale are the IoT’s most significant opportunity and hurdle. Removing the complications of accelerating public Internet access is key,” stated Chris Peabody, Chief Strategy Officer for NFF. “The combination of six partner solutions across all types of technology simplifies how cities and rural communities can choose secure, trusted IoT access that scales.”

“We’re honored to be part of this historic evolution and have the Testbed as our first deployment of Broadband Luminaires in North America,” commented Malik Ishak, Director, Smart City Connectivity at Signify North America. “Our solution provides scalable gigabit-speed connectivity in an aesthetic manner through existing lighting grids which both extend and complement physical fiber wirelessly in the last mile of cities for broadband and IoT.”

“We are proud to partner with the Testbed to demonstrate how best to increase broadband capacity and accessibility through this testbed,” Stephen Brown, Executive Vice President for Express-Tek commented. “We are excited about changing the telecommunications landscape and eliminating the digital divide wherever we design and build our fiber-optic networks and telecommunications infrastructure.“

“We commend the Testbed for leading by example in smart street lighting to improve energy efficiency, while improving safety and security in the streets,” stated Josh Dotson, Vice President of Corporate Development for Helicore. “Our patented foundation system allows a fully encompassed streetlight replacement in one day, in the same exact location, leaving cities and rural communities streetscape design unaltered.”

VIPC, Industry-Leading Partners, and Stafford County Collaborate to Deploy Innovative Smart City Connectivity Solutions at Virginia Smart Community Testbed

Virginia’s new Smart Community Testbed

The Testbed project produced replicable best practices for the deployment of broadband Internet IoT solutions that can be adopted and implemented at the local and regional levels. The project results can be utilized by all levels of government as part of their smart community’s planning and policies.

TRAXyL Rolls Out Connectivity to Virginia SMART Community Testbed 

TRAXyL Rolls Out Connectivity to Virginia SMART Community Testbed
Rolling out Connectivity Lighting Fast. The TRAXtor, our state-of-the-art, automated, fiber-painting…

TRAXyL’s embedding process involves etching out about a half-inch in the surface layer of the pavement, laying the fiber cables down, and adding protective coatings that cure and harden within 30 minutes, ready for cars to drive over it. The fiber cables are essentially painted onto the pavement; FiberTRAX is installed using their patented TRAXtor machine, which can lay 1,000 feet of fiber cable in one hour.

Bill Helsel, director of maintenance for St. John, said that the installation was quick and easy. “Nothing got disrupted,” Helsel said. “That was the beauty of this process.” He also said that FiberTRAX created huge cost savings for St. John.

“As well as keeping the integrity of the pavement, we do not leave the pavement uneven, so when the embedding process is completed, the surface is as smooth as it was before, making it ADA compliant. That means that a person in a wheelchair would have no issues moving on a sidewalk that may have fiber cables embedded into it. The finished product at St. John’s is a completely flush installation, meaning the fiber cables go virtually unnoticed.”

TRAXyL is changing the landscape (without damaging the landscape) of fiber cable installation.

Startup Space Winner TRAXyL CEO Finds the Road to Connectivity

May 2020 | By Jeffrey Hill | Via Satellite

Somewhere out in rural America, an unhelpful internet service provider representative is making long drives to neighborhoods he will never connect, completely unaware that he may have inspired the catalyst for a company that solves the digital divide in the United States.

 

The Automated Fiber-Planting Tractor that won Startup Space

2020 | On Orbit Podcast by Via Satellite, listen on SoundCloud

On Orbit caught up with Startup Space-winner Daniel Turner, CEO and Co-Founder of TRAXyL. In this episode, Daniel shared the company’s origins, how he and his partner came up with the idea of using an automated tractor, and how technologies like FiberTRAXtor can benefit the satellite and space sectors and, hopefully the deployment of 5G wireless. 

This is an extended version of an interview that was featured in the May edition of Via Satellite. 

By Gluing Fiber to the Ground, Startup Thinks It Can Slash Broadband Installation Costs for Local Government

July 6, 2018 | By Ben Miller | GovTech.com

Whenever a city wants to install high-speed Internet – be it for economic development, cost-savings for emergency responders or local schools – it must first answer a question: low or high? If a city puts its fiber cables underground, it has to close down traffic, pay the cost 

Another day, another Success Story.

Check out the many ways TRAXyL is making a difference for cities, towns, businesses and the military around the country.

D.C. Telecom Company Raising $3M to Bridge the Digital Divide

July 5, 2018 | By Sara Gilgore | Staff Reporter | Washington Business Journal

The minds behind D.C.-based Traxyl Inc. are working to expand high-speed internet access across the country — and, now, they’re seeking $3 million to advance their solution beyond initial testing. We last told you about the company in September, when co-founders

Washington, DC-based MindShare Selects Daniel Turner of TRAXyL for its 2018 Membership Class

March 06, 2018 | Warrenton, VA

TRAXyL, an innovator in optical fiber broadband deployment, is proud to announce its inclusion in MindShare, an exclusive organization designed for CEOs of the most promising high-tech companies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. 

Tech Startup Building Broadband on Road Surfaces

July 11, 2017 | By Alexis Kramer | Bloomberg BNA | Technology, Telecom & Internet Blog

A new way to distribute optical fiber, the technology used to deliver high-speed internet service, may be coming to cities in Maryland and Virginia. Fiber-optic cables are usually buried underground in trenches or bundled on top of utility poles. Tech startup TRAXyL Inc. 

A Sticky Solution to Building Broadband Infrastructure?

April 12, 2017 | By James Ivancic | Fauquier Times | fauquier.com

Photo: Adam Goings

Fiber glued into asphalt is being “road tested” in a manner of speaking to see if it stands up as a lower cost alternative to bringing broadband to homes and businesses. Traxyl, a company based in Warrenton, affixes the fiber to asphalt using a special resin the

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