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Remigo the perfect alternative to the traditional combustion outboard motor

The Remigo company, founded in 2019, is revolutionizing the boating industry with its innovative approach to electric marine propulsion. In this series of interviews from the Barcelona International Boat Show Innovation Blog, Remigo shares his inspiring story and vision. From tackling the issues of gasoline outboard motors to their contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and finally, we’ll explore how Remigo is becoming a leader in the blue economy by making boating green, sustainable and accessible to all.

Interview with Marko Vrotvec (Founder & CEO)

Interview carried out by Seed&Click

How was the company born?

The Remigo electric outboard motor company was founded in 2019, after realizing that the technology for electric marine propulsion (batteries, motors, etc.) was widely available and mature enough to allow viable products to replace outboard combustion engines. An option that all sailors hate but until now there had never been a good alternative.

At the Remigo team, we set ourselves the goal of developing a small outboard the way boaters and sailors would like it to be. With a strong emphasis on ease of use, durability, sustainability and inclusiveness, so that anyone, regardless of their nautical experience, technological skills, strength or other limitations, could enjoy sailing. In short, to make sailing ecological, sustainable and accessible to all.

What is the market opportunity you have?

Electrification on water follows a similar trend to the electrification trend on land, but 4-5 years behind schedule.

Right now, we are entering the steep end of the adoption curve (exponentially). This means that the demand for electric propulsion on the water is high and providers are struggling to meet it.

Today, these are just some data so that you understand all the potential:

  • There are 36 million sailors in Europe and 59 million in the United States.
  • Every sail boat or motor yacht over 7 meters requires a dinghy to reach shore.
  • In the European Union alone there are 6 million ships of this type.
  • The Compound Annual Growth Rate of the marine recreation industry is over 6%. Our research shows that 2/3 of sailors would replace their small gasoline outboard motors if a viable solution existed.

What problem do you solve with your products?

Gasoline outboard motors are banned on most lakes and are also being banned at sea. They are complicated and pollute a lot:

  • In the water with gasoline and oil stains;
  • In the air with exhaust gases
  • Acoustic pollution due to the noise they produce

On top of all the other reasons, gasoline outboards are unreliable. They tend not to start just when you need them most. Without exaggeration, we can say that almost all boat owners hate their small gasoline outboard motors but are forced to use them because until now there was no better and viable solution available.

What is your product like?

Remigo is the first truly user-oriented small electric outboard. Compact, powerful and elegant. Navigating has never been easier but the most important unique value propositions are:

  • User-centred design,
  • Intuitive controls,
  • Made from 100% recyclable aluminium, not plastic
  • Single body design, with few moving parts
  • Body can be detached from mounting bracket
  • Charge anywhere and fast charge
  • Elegant and minimalist design
  • Durable
  • Minimum storage space required
  • Easy to transport and manipulate
  • Maintenance free
  • And much more. In a sentence: a small outboard as users would like it to be.

Where are you based and in which countries do you have business?

The company Remigo is based in Slovenia. RemigoOne is also made in Slovenia, with many of the most important components (motor, controllers, etc.) of Slovenian origin. Still, we sell RemigoOne through distribution networks and resellers in all the main European marine markets: Spain, Italy, UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Croatia, Sweden, Norway, Turkey and of course Slovenia.

What is your business model? How do you generate income?

We sell engines at a premium price (compared to the competition) through a network of distribution and resellers, and a small portion of sales is direct, online.

Thanks to that, we have a good margin that allows the growth of Remigo.

 What are your customer segments?

  1. a) B2B: Operators of yacht charter fleets and boat rental services.
  2. b) B2C: Yacht and boat owners.
  3. c) B2C: Freshwater/protected area boaters, fishermen, bird watchers…

What is your competitive advantage over competitors?

Typically, competitive solutions have many problems:

  • They need electrical wire connections to operate, which corrode quickly in salt water.
  • They are made of plastic, are fragile and do not resist UV rays and salt.
  • They have many pieces that need to be assembled.
  • And many of the competitors’ products are not powerful enough to be safe in rough seas.

Instead, we innovate. User-focused process innovation is Remigo’s DNA. We design and produce what users want, not what is technologically easy to do.

In terms of impact, what are the SDGs that REMIGO meets and what is your vision regarding the blue economy?

Remigo contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Health and well-being: with RemigoOne you enable a cleaner and healthier environment that contributes to good health.
  • Clean water and sanitation: no gasoline or oil in the water, no fumes in the water, no noise that disturbs marine life…
  • Decent work and economic growth: At Remigo we strive to offer employees the best possible working environment and a good salary.
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure: Innovation is the core identity of the Remigo company. Our goal is to make boating eco-friendly, sustainable and accessible to all.
  • Reduction of inequalities: RemigoOne can be used by anyone, regardless of their nautical experience, technological skills, strength, or other limitations.
  • Sustainable cities and communities: Most of the parts of RemigoOne are recyclable. Lithium-ion batteries will be recyclable in 10 years.
  • Responsible production and consumption: Any part of RemigoOne can be repaired or replaced. No need to discard any part. Remigo is designed to last for decades.
  • Climate action: no fumes, no CO2 emissions with RemigoOne.
  • Underwater Life: No water pollution and no noise to disturb marine life.
  • Alliances to achieve the objectives: Remigo partners with tarpaulin manufacturers (for trucks, tents…) to reuse their leftovers in transport bags for RemigoOne.

 And finally, what are your needs now and what are your expansion plans?

We sell everything we can produce right away and have a long waiting list. Therefore, an expansion of production is needed. We are looking for a B round in 2024. The next expansion objective is to enter the US market.

An innovative engine made for and by the customer

In conclusion, Remigo emerges as a beacon of innovation in the marine industry by offering a revolutionary and sustainable solution to the challenges associated with gasoline outboard motors. Their commitment to user-centric technology, eco-efficiency and universal accessibility are not only transforming the way we navigate, but are also contributing significantly to a number of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As Remigo boldly moves towards global expansion and continuous improvement of its technology, it stands as an inspiring example of how innovation can shape a cleaner, more inclusive and exciting future in the world’s oceans and seas.

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