EQT AB’s venture capital arm is taking a stake in Candela Speed Boat AB, a Swedish startup making electric boats that rely on hydrofoil technology.
EQT Ventures led a 24 million-euro ($27 million) funding round that will enable Candela to scale up the production of leisure boats and start building battery-powered passenger ships for public transport.
As boatmakers seek ways to electrify crafts, Candela is betting on hydrofoil as a means to compete with combustion-engine boats. Its vessels are equipped with underwater wings that allow them to glide above the water surface--a method which, according to the company, enables more efficient energy use and a smaller battery.
“We’ve shown that our hydrofoil tech is the key to make electric boats commercially viable,” Candela’s chief executive officer Gustav Hasselskog said in a statement. “The investment from EQT Ventures will allow us to double down on our mission.”
Candela’s first model, the C-7 sportsboat, was shipped to 32 customers around the world, and the company says it now has almost 100 orders for the C-8, an 8.5-meter (28 feet) day cruiser that will go into production next year. In 2023, it plans to put a ferry for 30 passengers into commercial operation on the waterways of its native Stockholm.
Existing investor Chris Anderson, known as the curator of TED, also participated in the funding round. The latest financing will enable a tripling of R&D efforts and investment in automation, the company said.