AYRO, the designer and manufacturer of the OceanWings® wingsail solution for cargo ships and yachts, has closed a €19.2 million ($21M) Series B round.
This major investment in AYRO occurs at a unique moment when both the company and the market are at an inflection point.
2023 was the warmest year on record for the planet, and shipping is expected to represent up to 17% of human CO² emissions by 2050 if no action is taken (according to “Emission Reduction Targets for International Aviation and Shipping”, Policy Department A for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Nov 2015).
In July, AYRO installed 4 OceanWings® 363 wingsails on the Canopée, a groundbreaking vessel dedicated to transporting Ariane 6 space launch system components from Europe to French Guiana, which will enable a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and CO² emissions over its regular route.
Led by Blue Ocean and managed by SWEN Capital Partners, this Series B round brings the total funding for the company’s Wind Powered Decarbonation solutions to over €30 million ($31.7M).
Existing investors Ocean Zero and Bpifrance, through its Ecotechnology 2 fund as part of France 2030 initiatives, participated in the round alongside new investors AmInvest, Colam Impact, Normandie Participations, Normandie Littoral and FCPI Capital Innovant n°2 managed by SWEN Capital Partners.
“Every year, some 90,000 ships transport nine billion tons of goods globally, accounting for almost 90% of all logistics flows. Reducing the emissions of these ships is an urgent priority,” said Emmanuel Schalit, AYRO’s new CEO. “The good news is that wind is free, available on every ocean, and the technology to harness it is now mature and available.”
“Blue Ocean backs startups that can deliver both systemic impact for ocean health and competitive market returns. We studied the wind propulsion market in detail for 2 years and concluded that AYRO is clearly positioned to be a global leader in this sector,” said Christian Lim, managing director of SWEN Capital Partners.
He continued; “Wind propulsion is critical for decarbonization of shipping in the context of what is now being called ‘global boiling, and ambitious targets set by the International Maritime Organization and carbon reduction regulations coming into effect across the globe. The transformation of the maritime industry has begun, and we are excited about the major contribution that AYRO will make.”