French electric/hybrid manufacturer BlueNav secures €1.3M funding

BlueNav, France’s first manufacturer of hybrid and electric engines for boats, has secured funding of a €1.3 million Seed Round to accelerate its growth. The round was led by the Blue Ocean Fund of SWEN Capital Partners, which invests directly in unlisted, innovative start-ups that are working to support Ocean health regeneration.

This Plugboats article about BlueNav gives a good overview of the company’s products, which recognize that not all boats or boating applications are candidates for all-electric propulsion.

Their BlueSpin technology is a powerful electric engine that is foldable, compact and light – designed to be an adjunct or addition to fossil fuel powered boats. BlueSpin allows the user to keep the original combustion engine, but the BlueSpin all-electric motors are engaged and the ICE system disengaged at the touch of a button in the cockpit.

BLueNav system on stern of boat: left, ICE outboards down, BlueSpin electric up, right: ICE outboards tilted up, BlueSpin electric down

The system can be installed in either new boats or as a retrofit option and does not require any modifications to the boat’s hull structure. It is available in several propulsion ranges (from 15 to 50kW) and is available in 3 integrations to fit all types of boats, including recreational, commercial passenger and work boats.

The BlueSpin system won for Best Product at the Innovation Contest of the 2021 Salon Nautic Paris and also received a Product Category Innovation Award at METSTRADE 2021.

“Our ambition is to participate in the evolution of boating for a better future.“ said Hervé FROUIN, founder of BlueNav “Rather than forcing boat owners to go all-electric, stay all-fossil-fuel or look at expensive and disruptive hybrid systems, BlueSpin offers a progressive and transitional approach to boat electrification. We bring a concrete response to the challenges of energy transition in the industry by providing an alternative solution both for manufacturers and refit professionals.”

BlueNav Seed Round backed by Euro, France investors

SWEN Capital Partners, who led this seed round, is a big player in European sustainable investments, with more than €6.7 Billion euros in assets under management and/or advisory. Their Blue Ocean Fund now makes up about €150M of that total by investing directly in start-ups working to support ocean health and solutions to overfishing, pollution and climate change.

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Blue Ocean was launched in scientific partnership with Ifremer, France’s ocean research institute. Other participants in the BlueNav round include ARDEV (Alliance Régionale pour le DEVeloppement), which invests in companies in the South-West region of France, and DeepIE Ventures, a technology venture capital firm based  in Cork, Ireland.

This Seed Round investment of €1.3M sets up BlueNav for a Series A Funding at some future date. Series A funding is the next stage for startups after they have developed key performance measures like an established user base and consistent revenue figures. It is often used to enable companies to scale production.

Find out more about BlueSpin in the video below or visit the BlueNav website

Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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