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29 May 2023

Almi Invest GreenTech invests in Zparq

Zparq has developed and patented a marine pod motor that is the world's most compact electric marine propulsion motor. Electric propulsion results in lower operating costs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Electrification of the transportation sector is accelerating and now extends not only to passenger cars but also to the marine sector, including recreational boats and commercial vessels.

Almi Invest GreenTech is investing SEK 11.3 million in a new share issue of SEK 28 million and is leading the financing round together with the newly established climate fund Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund, initiated by the European bank Banco Santander. Existing investor KIC InnoEnergy is also participating. The capital will be used for preparations for serial production, manufacturing of pilot series, beta testing, and commercialization efforts.

Zparq offers electric motors and complete drivetrains for recreational boats and commercial vessels. The goal is environmentally friendly, efficient, and quiet propulsion with minimal maintenance and low operating costs. Based on innovative technology, Zparq's marine motors are significantly smaller and more efficient compared to all alternatives in the market. The compact design reduces raw material consumption and CO2 footprint by more than 50% in production. The products are originally designed with a circular approach, reducing environmental impact and climate footprint throughout their lifecycle.

"Zparq's innovation brings advantages such as low cost, design freedom, modularity, low water resistance, low maintenance, robustness, high efficiency, and low weight. Together, these factors create a very strong value proposition that can make Zparq one of the winners in the electric boat race, with great potential to accelerate the electrification of marine propulsion systems and contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and an improvement in the marine environment," says Boris Gyllhamn, Investment Manager at Almi Invest GreenTech.
Out of the global fleet of approximately 28 million recreational boats, about 75% currently have outboard motors, with an almost negligible share of electric propulsion. The company estimates that these boats emit about 50 million tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to Sweden's annual emissions. More than 800,000 outboard motors and approximately 200,000 inboard motors are sold annually, and currently, almost all sales are traditional combustion engines with fossil fuels and high emissions. As new innovation enables green transition in the marine sector, there is also an increase in political demands regarding emissions, combined with consumer demand for better products with lower emissions.

The company's current goal is to achieve a successful launch and sales in the Nordic market. Zparq currently has ongoing projects with several OEM partners and boat builders regarding the company's 10 kW and 50 kW motors, with the aim of having multiple units in the water this summer.

Zparq originated from a collaboration between the founders and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, where the technology has been developed and used for underwater robots and hydrofoil craft since 2017. The company was established in 2020 and has been coached within the InnoEnergy Highway Program.

"We are very excited to have Santander and the GreenTech Fund as new investors. They will provide the support needed to complete the development of our first products and enable delivery to our customers this year," says Jonas Genchel, CEO of Zparq, and continues, "Our scalable and modular technology has generated overwhelming interest from boat manufacturers and shipbuilders globally, and we have customers across the spectrum from small recreational boats to commercial vessels that demand our drivetrains."