MOL invests in all-electric seagliders

MOL Switch, a US-based corporate venture capital firm that is part of Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), has decided to invest in REGENT Craft, a US company developing all-electric seagliders.

Courtesy of REGENT

Seagliders are a new type of maritime vessel that operate a few meters above the water’s surface, combining the higher speeds of a light aircraft with the low operating costs of a vessel.

As informed, the investment is to support REGENT bringing seagliders to market in Japan and coastal destinations around the globe.

“This strategic partnership marks a significant step forward for seaglider market adoption in Japan. Having MOL as a maritime champion for seaglider technology underlines REGENT’s market-leading traction in the country and paves the way to bring our high-speed, all-electric transportation solutions to coastal communities,” Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT, said.

“REGENT’s pioneering technology and commitment to sustainability align with MOL’s core mission to apply innovative technology and services to advance environmental conservation. The partnership reflects our shared commitment to ensuring safe transportation and building a sustainable future,” Tomoaki Ichida, CEO of MOL Switch, commented.

Growing ecosystem for seagliders in Japan

MOL Switch’s strategic investment in REGENT is part of the growing interest in seaglider technology in Japan. H.I.S. Group, one of Japan’s largest travel agencies, JapanAirlines Innovation Fund, the venture arm of Japan Airlines (JAL), and YamatoHoldings, Japan’s largest parcel delivery and logistics company, are also strategic investors in REGENT.

About 80% of Japan’s population lives on or near coastal areas, and the maritime industry is critical to the country’s economy. Seagliders provide affordable, convenient, and sustainable options to transport people and goods in the country, augmenting existing transportation options and supporting lives and livelihoods.


REGENT seagliders are said to provide ‘efficient, sustainable’ options to augment coastal transportation ecosystems. The hydrofoiling wing-in-ground-effect vessel leverages existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods over water up to 180 miles between coastal destinations – all with zero emissions. 

REGENT’s flagship seaglider, Viceroy, is a twelve-passenger vehicle that travels at 180mph to service routes up to 180 miles on a single charge.

Last month, class society Lloyd’s Register (LR) partnered with REGENT to provide certification and advisory services for the latter’s twelve-passenger Viceroy seagliders.

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REGENT has already secured more than 600 seaglider orders valued at more than $9 billion from airline and ferry operators around the world and has raised more than $90 million from investors.