We are delighted to announce our lead investment in ZeroJet’s Series A round.

Late last year we were alerted to something special happening in the water off Bucklands beach – Bex Rempel and Neil Mans were creating the world’s first turnkey electric jet propulsion unit for boats. We’re already highly convicted on the move to electrification but ZeroJet provides much more than that. Their initial application to tenders brings material improvements to safety (no propellors), usability (fully enclosed and silent system), performance (up to 50% more than an equivalent rated outboard) and of course they are much cleaner and better for the environment. On top of all that, they are fun to use!

This is no small engineering feat, particularly given the system is designed to operate in salt water.

Accelerating Growth

One of the key things we look for in businesses is scalability. We were drawn to ZeroJet’s strategy of selling B2B to the world’s largest boat manufacturers which will deliver multi-year contracted minimum orders, drive repeatable sales and an accelerated path to scale. Furthermore, the team is developing the product for larger boats which will drive further market opportunity and growth.

We also look for companies that have a sustainable competitive advantage, or ‘moat’. Being early to market with a turnkey electric jet propulsion system for boats is expected to give ZeroJet a strong start. Combined with significant hardware IP and multi-year agreements with boatbuilders, we expect the company will grow market share quickly, and secure an enduring lead. The company is already establishing a strong brand in market and has even received orders from some of the world’s most prominent champions of the electrification of transport!

Marine electrification coming of age

There is a global trend toward electrification, and we have identified marine electrification as a niche area where new entrants still have the opportunity to capture significant value. With continuing increases in battery capacity on the horizon, the time is right for disruption. We expect companies that are at the cutting edge of marine electrification now to be well-positioned to take a global leadership position over the coming years. And, given New Zealand’s strong history of innovation in the marine industry, it makes sense that disruption can come from our shores.

The duo behind the product

Bex and Neil make for an exceptional founding team, bringing both technical excellence and an awesome entrepreneurial spirit. Neil is an engineer, having spent a large portion of his career at Buckley Systems and Bex brings a strong accounting and finance background. To top this off, they have also designed and built an electric jet board business in the past. From this experience, they bring valuable learnings to ZeroJet and we have been impressed by what they have achieved already with limited capital. As you can see from the photo, their maiden system is all class – we can’t wait to see more of these out on NZ waters and beyond.

A big thank you to Bex and Neil for sharing your passion for business, green technology and the great outdoors with us. We’re delighted to lead this round alongside existing investors K1W1, IEF, Booster, Investible and NZGCP, and we are excited to be on this journey to reach the ultimate audacious goal of eliminating the need for combustion engines on small watercraft.