Electric vessel maker Candela closes record funding round of €24.5M

Candela, a maker of sustainable electric hydrofoil boats, has successfully completed its most substantial funding round to date, securing 24.5 million to boost the production of its P-12 ferry. Among the investors is Groupe Beneteau.

Waterborne transport contributes to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet the shift towards electrification in both leisure and commercial maritime sectors has been sluggish. This is primarily due to the inefficiency of traditional vessels at high speeds.

Candela has revolutionised the marine sector with its hydrofoil boats, which are stabilised by computer technology. These crafts 'fly' above water, significantly reducing friction and using 80% less energy than conventional boats, thus achieving unprecedented range and speed on electric power. This breakthrough not only benefits the environment but also reduces operational costs for vessel operators, encouraging the adoption of greener maritime solutions.

Moreover, Candela's vessels are fully connected and designed to excel in rough waters and environmentally sensitive areas. The onboard Flight controller, processing real-time sensor data, adjusts to counteract wave motion, offering a smooth ride free from motion sickness and discomfort. Additionally, when hydrofoiling, these boats do not generate a wake, allowing for faster travel in zones where traditional boats face speed limitations.

“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”, says Bruno Thivoyon, CEO at Groupe Beneteau, one of the world's largest boat manufacturers with a turnover of €1.46 billion, 15 factories, 9 brands, and more than 8,000 yachts built annually.

“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," says Gustav Hasselskog, Founder and CEO of Candela.

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. The P-12 starts a new chapter in waterborne transport, as it's 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, as for example on its maiden route in Stockholm, where it from July will cut travel times in half compared to road transport and legacy diesel vessels.

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. In 2023, 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 longtime 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. The launch of Candela's P-12 vessels signifies a watershed moment in sustainable transport", says Lars Jörnow, Partner at EQT Ventures.