Candela closes record funding round

Candela closes record funding round
Candela’s mission is to speed up the transition to fossil fuel-free oceans and lakes.'

Candela, the leading maker of sustainable, electric hydrofoil vessels, announced it has closed the largest funding round in the company’s history, to expand production of its game-changing P-12 ferry. A key partner in the 24.5 million EUR round is Groupe Beneteau — the largest global boat maker.

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.

Candela’s innovative, computer-stabilized hydrofoil craft have disrupted the marine industry. As they fly above the friction of water, they use 80% less energy than other ships and boats, attaining long range and high speed on battery power – a first in the marine industry. At the same time, they offer operators lower operational costs, incentivizing a transition to sustainable vessels.

Candela’s fully connected vessels also have characteristics that make them superior in choppy seas and sensitive waterways. An onboard Flight controller uses real-time data from sensors to counteract waves, eliminating motion sickness and discomfort. Candela vessels don’t create wake when foiling, opening up for shorter travel times where speed restrictions limit conventional craft.

“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, 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.

“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.