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London Tech Week

Tesla of water: Sweden’s Candela snaps €24.5M to scale up electric vessel production

Candela funding
Picture credits: Candela

Globally, waterborne transport emits 3% of global GHG emissions. Still, electrification has been slow to take off across leisure and commercial vessels, due to conventional ships and boats being inefficient at high speed. The market for electric vessels is expected to be worth $14.2 billion in 2030, driven by strong national incentives to decarbonise shipping. 

Revolutionising this industry, some companies such as Swedish startup XShore and Bristol-based Flux Marine have raised investments. Now, another Swedish startup Candela, a hydrofoil electric vessels maker has hit the headlines. 

Eyes increase in production

Now, Candela has closed €24.5 million in the largest funding round in the company’s history. A key partner in this round is Groupe Beneteau, a global boat maker. Other backers in the round include EQT Ventures, Ocean Zero LLC, and Kan Dela AB. 

This follows the $20 million investment the company secured back in 2023. With the latest round, the total investment raised by Candela accounts for over €70 million. 

The new investment round will help to scale up production to meet demand for the recently launched Candela P-12, the world’s first electric hydrofoil ferry. 

Reduces emission and travel time

Candela’s P-12 marks a new chapter in waterborne transport. It is touted to be the first fast and long-range electric ferry on the market. Its efficient hydrofoil tech cuts lifetime emissions by 97.5% compared to diesel vessels, while simultaneously allowing operators to halve costs. Since it generates minimal wake, the P-12 has been granted exemptions from speed limits on its maiden route in Stockholm, where it will cut travel times in half compared to road transport and legacy diesel vessels from July. 

By flying above the surface on computer-guided hydrofoils, and underwater wings, the P-12 Shuttle uses significantly less electricity — 80% less energy than traditional vessels, claims the company. It translates into a record range of 60 nautical miles on one charge at a cruising speed of 27 knots.

The Tesla of water

Founded by Gustav Hasselskog in 2014, Candela aims to transform the electric boat industry. The company is looking to commercialise multiple types of boats that use hydrofoil technology, or computer-guided underwater wings. 

Last year, Candela came up with the C-8, its first electric boat with the range to travel between popular destinations on the Mediterranean coast and the great lakes of southern Europe. The Candela C-8 T-TOP version is made for fossil fuel-free travel in sunny climates.

Candela’s fully connected vessels also have characteristics that make them superior in choppy seas and on sensitive waterways. An onboard Flight controller uses real-time data from sensors to counteract waves, eliminating motion sickness and discomfort. When foiling, Candela’s vessels don’t create a 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 navigation experiences. Candela’s technology, enabling significantly more efficient electric vessels, will transform waterborne transport into its next sustainable phase,” said Bruno Thivoyon, CEO at Groupe Beneteau, the world’s largest boat manufacturer with a turnover of €1.46 Bn, 15 factories, 9 brands, and more than 8,000 yachts built annually.

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

“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,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Founder and CEO of Candela.

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