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Navier raises a $7.2 million funding round

Navier participated in the Yachting Ventures startup accelerator program (2021).

Silicon Valley startup Navier has raised US$7.2m in a seed funding round to continue building its futuristic electric boats in the US.

Navier is led by two MIT engineers, co-founders Sampriti Bhattacharyya and Reo Baird. The company is building a new type of boat that uses a combination of hydrofoils, electrification, advanced composites and an intelligent software system, which according to the developers, will reduce running costs by 90 per cent.

By using electric hydrofoiling technology, the boats built by Navier eliminate high hydrodynamic drag and aim to be the longest-range electric vessels on the market at high speeds, achieving a 75nm range at 20kn, according to the company.

Navier says it is perfecting its core foil control technology with the Navier 27 (N27), a recreational vessel. However, the company’s longer term vision is to expand by building robotaxis on the water, to ease congestion in coastal cities in the US such as New York, Miami and San Franscisco.

“Human civilisation was historically built around our waterways and today 46 per cent of the world lives in coastal cities that are heavily congested,” says Bhattacharyya. “If we can build a zero-emission marine craft that competes in cost, speed and convenience to land-borne options, we will open up a whole new mode of clean, scalable transportation for coastal cities that was never possible before, and without the need for cost-prohibitive infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels.”

The N27, an 8-metre all-electric hydrofoil tender, was unveiled last year at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Navier recruited Oracle Team USA’s principal design engineer for the 35th America’s Cup, Paul Bieker, as lead naval architect.

The seed round was co-led by Global Founders Capital and Treble, a new fund run by Daniel Gulati, the former MD of Comcast Ventures. Participants in the funding round include Next View Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Precursor Ventures, as well as angel investors like Charlie Songhurst, Josh Lee, Yida Gao, Kent Ho and David Jen, among others.

The company has partnered with boatbuilder Lyman-Morse to fulfill the first year of production for the Navier 27, with the first two hulls of the model currently under construction at the Lyman-Morse facility in Maine. The company says it plans to ramp up production to over 400 units by 2024.

“Navier is much more than an electric upgrade,” says Bhattacharyya. “We are fundamentally rethinking the boat as we know it. Hydrofoils not only allow electric boats to attain a practical range at high speeds, but they drastically reduce the operational cost of a vessel by a factor of 10X when compared to traditional boats with combustion engines. In addition, they deliver a vastly superior ride quality that eliminates sea-sickness since you’re foiling over the waves.”

Credit: Marine Industry News


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