Candela secures record funding and partners with Groupe Beneteau

Candela P-12 and C-8106

Candela, a Swedish maker of electric hydrofoil vessels, has closed the largest funding round in the company’s history to expand production of its P-12 ferry.

A key partner in the €24.5m round is Groupe Beneteau — the largest global boat maker, with a turnover of €1.46bn, 15 factories, nine brands, and more than 8,000 yachts built annually.

Globally, waterborne transport emits 3 per cent of global GHG emissions. However, electrification has been slow to take off across leisure and commercial vessels, due to conventional ships and boats being inefficient at high speed.

Candela’s computer-stabilised hydrofoil craft hover above the friction of water, using up to 80 per cent less energy than other ships and boats, according to Candela, while attaining long range and high speed on battery power. They also offer operators lower operational costs.

Candela P-12 and C-8106

Candela says its fully connected vessels have technology that helps them navigate choppy seas and sensitive waterways. An onboard flight controller uses real-time data from sensors to counteract waves, eliminating motion sickness and discomfort. When foiling, Candela vessels don’t create wake, opening up for shorter travel times where conventional craft are limited by speed restrictions.

“Our investment perfectly aligns with Groupe Beneteau‘s ecological transition objectives, scaling up innovative solutions for more sustainable boating and unparalleled experiences,” says Bruno Thivoyon, CEO at Groupe Beneteau. “Candela’s technology, enabling significantly more efficient electric vessels, will transform waterborne transport into its next sustainable phase.”

Gustav Hasselskog, founder and CEO of Candela, adds: “We couldn’t be more excited about having Groupe Beneteau on board. As the leading global boat company, their trust is a stamp of approval for our technology to transform waterborne transportation. We’re excited for the possibilities ahead.”

The new investment round will help Candela scale up production to meet demand for the recently launched Candela P-12, billed as the world’s first electric hydrofoil ferry. The P-12 is marketed as the first fast and long-range electric ferry on the market. Its hydrofoil tech is said to cut lifetime emissions by 97.5 per cent compared to diesel vessels, while simultaneously allowing operators to halve costs.

Small white ferry uplifted out of water on red foils with cloud covered mountains in background of still, reflective lake

Since it generates minimal wake, the P-12 has been granted exemptions from speed limits, including on its maiden route in Stockholm, where it will from July cut travel times in half compared to road transport and legacy diesel vessels.

One of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Manapōuri, will have a Candela P-12 in operation by in 2025.

The market for electric vessels is expected to be worth $14.2bn in 2030, according to Fortune Business Insights, driven by strong national incentives to decarbonise shipping. Since 1 January 2024, the European Union included maritime transport in its Emissions Trading System (ETS), and countries like Norway are pushing for zero-emission fjords, mandating electric ferries and boats.

“We’ve spent years developing the technological maturity, and now we’re fit for scaling to commercial vessels. As in any industry, the fastest-scaling company will dominate the market”, says Gustav Hasselskog.

Other backers in the round include long-time investors EQT Ventures, Ocean Zero LLC, and Kan Dela AB. The new investment brings total funding since Candela’s inception to over €70m.

“EQT Ventures has steadfastly backed Candela’s vision to accelerate the shift towards fossil fuel-free lakes and oceans since 2021,” says Lars Jörnow, partner at EQT Ventures. “The launch of Candela’s P-12 vessels signifies a watershed moment in sustainable transport.”

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