Groupe Beneteau key part of €24.5M Candela funding

Pioneering electric hydrofoiling boatbuilder Candela has closed the largest funding round in the company’s history – 25 Million Euros (≈ $US27.13M) – to expand production of its game-changing P-12 ferry.

A key partner in the funding is Groupe Beneteau, the world’s largest  boat maker. Their stable of brands includes Jeanneau, Prestige, Lagoon, Wellcraft, Scarab and four that are already in the electric boat universe: Delphia, Four Winns, Excess Catamarans and Beneteau itself.

Other backers in the round include longtime investors EQT Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Swedish company EQT Partners; Kan Dela AB; and Ocean Zero LLC, who also fund 7 other emission-reducing marine companies, including ZEN Yachts and Flux Marine. This new investment brings total funding since Candela’s inception to over €70M (≈ $US76M).

Candela founded in 2014

Candela was founded in Sweden in 2014 by Gustav Hasselskog, who had a dream of creating an electric boat that matches the range and speed of a gas burner. He put together a leading edge team of people with backgrounds in disciplines like hydrodynamics, flight control electronics, structural composite engineering and the software used for dynamic modelling.

They came up with the first Candela hydrofoiling speedboat and an onboard flight controller that takes real time data from sensors around the boat and adjusts the foils more than 100 times per second to counteract wave and water motion.

A quick timeline of milestones (links to Plugboats articles):

While hydrofoiling in a recreational boat like the Candela 8 is a remarkable and exhilarating experience, the bigger impact on the environment will come from Candela’s fleets of water taxis and larger ferries. In Europe ferries account for 10% of CO2 emissions from all ships.

Candela’s vessels use 80% less energy than others because of the next-to-zero water resistance and friction. The technology 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. In Stockholm it will cut travel times in half compared to road transport and legacy diesel burning boats.

Candela P-12 to service New Zealand’s most beautiful lake

The market for electric vessels is expected to be worth 14.2 Billion USD in 2030 according to Fortune Business Insights, driven by strong national incentives to decarbonize shipping.

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

Groupe Beneteau is 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.

They announced their own initiatives in electric recreational boating in 2021 at the Cannes Yachting Festival, where Delphia was introduced as the corporation’s dedicated electric brand. The first Delphia 11 cruising boat was launched in Europe in 2022 and another brand, Four Winns, launched the electric H2E sportboat in 2023.

“Setting the course for a better tomorrow”

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

He also sent out this note to those who have been following the progress of Candela from the beginning:

Today, we announced our latest, €25M funding round – the largest in Candela’s history.

We couldn’t have reached this point without you – our amazing customers, investors, and partners. Our brilliant team that has worked long days and nights to make our groundbreaking electric hydrofoil vessels go from a concept, to prototypes, to being best-sellers in the electric leisure market and now expanding into the commercial passenger transport segment with Candela P-12.

This round also marks a new high point as we’re welcoming Groupe Beneteau as investors. To have the largest boat maker in the world on board is a huge testament to the potential our technology has to transform global waterborne transportation into its next, sustainable phase.

Waking up to news like this, I have to pinch myself to really believe that my soon-to-be 10-year-old dream of making the first viable, long-range electric boat has become a reality. We’re now in the driver’s seat, setting the course for a better tomorrow.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who believed in this vision and joined us on this incredible journey. Stay tuned for what’s on the horizon—we’re just getting started!

Candela  Groupe Beneteau

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