The Candela electric boat and its hydrofoiling technology have secured a €24M (US$27.2M) investment from EQT Ventures to scale production and increase its research and development team.
Since the company launched its C8 day cruiser model in August it has received close to 100 orders, so the production funds will be put to use quickly!
The funding round was led by EQT Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Swedish company EQT Partners, with participation from existing Candela investor Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED talks, who first came on as part of a $9.1M investment in September, 2020.
Lars Jörnow, Partner at EQT Ventures, said: “The transition to clean passenger transportation has been very fast on land. Now, with Candela’s technology, it will happen also on water. We want to support Candela to further strengthen its role as the technology leader while scaling up the production fast, so that the positive environmental impact of Candela can become global.”
Perfect match for Candela
EQT was started in 1993 as part of the network of Sweden’s Wallenberg family, which started in banking in 1865 and has been a key backer and driver of the country’s industrial success. There is a deeply rooted philosophy of responsible ownership and EQT became signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) in 2010.
Gustav Hasselskog, CEO of Candela, said “EQT Ventures is really the perfect match for Candela with its connections to the Wallenberg sphere and its 160 years of success in developing world leading industrial companies. It means a lot for us to get strong backing from Europe’s finest investors.”
Hasselskog started Candela in 2014 with a dream and dedication to electrifying and cleaning up marine propulsion and moving it away from burning fossil fuel. He quickly realized, though, that the friction of a boat hull in water is a huge challenge for the energy density of batteries and turned to hydrofoiling – raising the boat above the water on wings – as the way for a Candela electric boat to achieve both high speed and long range.
He built a diverse and deeply talented team of experts and engineers from the aerospace, software, and electronics industries and the first Candela 7 began flying above the water in public at Sweden’s first all-electric boat show in May of 2019.
The active hydrofoil system developed by the Candela team stabilises the vessels in-flight using computer power and advanced software that accounts for waves and side winds. It makes for a wake-free and smoother ride than conventional boats and 2-3 times longer endurance than electric powerboats without foils.
All of this helped Candela jump to the lead in European electric boat sales and with the development of a new torpedo inspired double motor and its debut on the Candela C8, demand has taken off.
Candela electric boats across all sectors
In addition to the recreational Candela electric boats, the company has developed the world’s first electric hydrofoil passenger vessel, the Candela P-30 ferry. Commissioned by the Region of Stockholm, it is set to start shuttling passengers to and from the city’s vast archipelago in 2023.
A smaller water taxi version, the Candela P0-12, can run for 2 hours at 20 knots and was one of the finalists in the ‘Electric Boats for Paying Passengers’ category of the 2020 Gustave Trouvé Electric Boat Awards.
In addition to providing the ability to automate and scale up production, the EQT funds will enable the company to bolster its core strength in R&D and expand its sales organization for Candela electric boats across the leisure, commercial and urban transport sectors worldwide.
“We’ve shown that our hydrofoil tech is the key to make electric boats commercially viable. We’re seeing boundless demand for the Candela C-8, as well as huge interest in our commercial vessels.” said CEO Hasselskog. “The investment from EQT Ventures will allow us to double down on our mission to speed up the transition to fossil fuel-free lakes and oceans. It took us four years to develop the technology and two more years to master it. Now we are ready to scale up fast.”