Making Waves in the Watersports Industry
Arc, the Los Angeles-based electric boat startup, has successfully delivered its limited edition Arc One boat, priced at $300,000. With its eyes set on the watersports sector, especially those requiring a wake, the company has recently secured a whopping $70 million in a Series B funding round. Notable returning investors include Eclipse, Andreessen Horowitz, Lowercarbon Capital, and Abstract Ventures. Menlo Ventures, with Shawn Carolan, a boating enthusiast, also joined the funding round. To date, Arc’s total funding exceeds $100 million.
From SpaceX to Watersports The Founders’ Journey
Mitch Lee and Ryan Cook, the Co-Founders of Arc, embarked on this venture in January 2021. Cook, a former SpaceX engineer and the current CTO of Arc, collaborated with Lee to design and sell electric watercrafts catering to various price points and use cases. Their initial focus was on creating a purpose-built hull and battery packs. This strategy garnered early investments from renowned names like Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Combs Enterprises. Their flagship product, the Arc One, is a 24-foot aluminum boat boasting 500 horsepower and a battery life of 3 to 5 hours per charge. This boat also features modern amenities like wireless software updates and a touchscreen interface.
The Road Ahead Expansion and New Designs
With the fresh capital in hand, the founders are gearing up to introduce a high-volume electric boat tailored for wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and other popular watersports. While the design and price details of this new boat remain under wraps, Lee hinted at a direct competition in terms of performance and price with existing market players. Given that high-performance wakesports boats can be priced up to $250,000, Arc aims to position itself in the premium segment. The company is also set to relocate to a larger facility in Torrance, California, and is actively hiring to expand its team.
The Competitive Landscape
The electric boat market is witnessing a surge in startups, with names like Candela, Evoy, Navier, GM-backed Pure Watercraft, Seabubbles, and Zin making their mark. However, Shawn Carolan from Menlo Ventures emphasized the uniqueness of Arc’s approach, especially in the watersports domain. Unlike many competitors focusing on hydrofoil electric boats, which don’t produce significant wakes, Arc’s strategy aligns perfectly with the watersports market’s requirements.
In conclusion, Arc’s ambitious plans, backed by significant funding and a clear market strategy, position it as a promising player in the electric boat industry. As the company gears up for its next phase of growth, the watersports sector is set to witness some electrifying innovations.
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