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Candela: Steering a New Course in Eco-Friendly Boating

From Innovative Hydrofoil Designs to Eco-Friendly Commuting – Candela’s Journey to Reshaping Marine Transportation

While most seek thrills in sports cars or new hobbies during their mid-life, Gustav Hasselskog, the founder of Candela, chose a different path. His journey from a management career to revolutionizing eco-friendly boating is not just inspiring but a testament to innovation and determination.

In 2014, at the age of 40, Hasselskog left his management job, driven by a desire to return to technology and product development. He set aside a year for himself, during which his family’s boating experiences in the archipelago near their summer house sparked a critical realization. The environmental impact of traditional 25-foot day cruisers, consuming 15 times more energy per kilometre than a car, was unsettling.

Determined to find a sustainable solution, Hasselskog embarked on a quest to revolutionize boating. He explored the potential of electric-powered drive trains, which, at the time, were neither mainstream nor considered ‘cool.’ His focus turned to hydrofoils – an energy-efficient technology that was underutilized in the boating industry.

Through rigorous research and development, Hasselskog proposed a hydrofoil design that could reduce energy use by 80% compared to traditional boats, offering a range and speed comparable to fossil-fuel-powered boats. This design also promised a noise-free and smooth riding experience.

Despite initial funding scepticism, Candela secured seed funding in early 2015, leading to the development of its first prototype by August 2016. The journey wasn’t smooth, with significant hurdles in hydrodynamics, but perseverance paid off. In 2017, Candela’s waterborne vessel achieved its first flight, a milestone in hydrofoil technology.

By August 2018, Candela began producing its first serial vessel, the Candela C-7, an open sports boat. The success of the C-7, which found customers globally, paved the way for the development of the mass-market C-8 and Candela’s proprietary C-Pod propulsion system.

Candela’s ambition extended beyond personal leisure boats to larger passenger ferries. Collaborations with cities like Stockholm showcased the potential of Candela’s technology in reducing operational costs and commuting times significantly. This innovation attracted interest from EQT Ventures, leading to a €24 million Series A funding round in December 2021.

As of 2023, Candela has grown significantly, with a team of over 200 employees and a new facility in Sweden to accelerate production. The C-8 has surpassed 100 orders, outperforming several traditional powerboat brands. Additionally, Candela’s hydrofoil ferry is set to make waves in early 2024.

Despite challenges in technical development, supply chain, and production, Hasselskog’s unwavering passion and support from early investors keep the Candela team motivated. The answer to their investor’s question, “How many problems have you not solved?” remains a resounding zero.

As Candela’s distributor in Australia, Carbon Yachts is proud to be part of this sustainable transport revolution. Candela’s vision aligns perfectly with our commitment to eco-friendly and efficient marine solutions. We are excited to offer Australian boaters the opportunity to experience the future of boating with Candela’s innovative vessels.

Join us in embracing a greener, more sustainable future on water with Candela’s groundbreaking technology.

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