Manna Drone Delivery Announces Strategic Investment by Coca-Cola HBC and first US Trial in Texas
Following successful trials in Galway and Dublin, Coca-Cola HBC, strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company, has announced a partnership and investment in Manna Drone Delivery.
Manna, headquartered at NexusUCD in Dublin, and currently employing over 100 staff in Ireland, UK and USA, is on a mission to improve the world by making lightning-fast suburban deliveries affordable, green and safe. Manna is the most commercially progressed company of its kind and designs, builds and operates unmanned aerial vehicles, which perform high-speed deliveries of up to 3.5 kgs (~8lbs) in high-density suburban last-mile settings.
Through its Ventures arm, Coca-Cola HBC collaborates with disruptive start-ups that have synergies with its business ambitions in the areas of last mile, vending, coffee technology and sustainability.
For Manna, the strategic partnership will provide insights and expertise from a market leading beverage company, and over time, the two organisations will work to identify opportunities for Manna to scale across Coca-Cola HBC’s territories, which include central and eastern European markets.
Miles Karemacher, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said, “Our partnership with Manna Drone Delivery, one of the most innovative drone delivery start-up companies in the world, encapsulates our ambition to deliver our products in new and more sustainable ways. Together we will further enhance our position in this rapidly developing distribution channel and progress our sustainability commitments. For us on the island of Ireland this partnership provides an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of disruptive technologies across the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market.”
Manna also announced that it will commence a trial in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area in partnership with multinational real estate development company Hillwood, to initially offer drone delivery to a select number of Hillwood's residential developments.
Bobby Healy, CEO and founder of Manna said, “We are delighted to partner with Coca-Cola HBC on our journey to bring a new form of delivery to suburban homes and as we start to scale globally. Having a brand like Coca-Cola HBC onboard is a testament to the realisation that last mile delivery can be done in a more efficient, safer and greener way.
This investment and support comes at the right time, as we announce a significant milestone our first US trial with Hillwood developments. These partnerships will be integral to our growth as we start to scale globally.”
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “Congratulations to Manna, an Enterprise Ireland client company, on entering the US market, marking the beginning of their global expansion. Manna is a great example of Irish innovation, transforming industries and partnering with global brands. I wish them every success for this new venture.”
“I really love to see Irish companies like Manna growing at home and then going global. The fact that Manna is now a foreign direct investor in the US is further evidence that our economic relationship with America is a two-way street.”
Manna is currently serving the Dublin suburb Balbriggan, where the population of 35,000 can be supported with up to 280 deliveries a day and it recently confirmed that it will expand soon to another Dublin suburb, with a population of over 100,000.
Hillwood is the developer of AllianceTexas, a 27,000-acre mixed-use, master-planned community and home to the Mobility Innovation Zone. Manna and Hillwood have co-created a plan to make lightning-fast drone delivery service available.
Manna is continuously recruiting to meet the demand for the service, with a planned rollout across Ireland, the US and Europe.
16 March 2023
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coca-Cola HBC is a growth-focused consumer packaged goods business and strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Through its Ventures arm, Coca-Cola HBC partners with disruptive start-ups in its geographical footprint and beyond and seeks ideas that address the challenges it strives to overcome. The start-up solutions must be relevant to its industry and aligned with its focus areas of Last Mile (B2B, direct to consumer, logistics, customer connections), vending and touchless technology; coffee technology and equipment; and sustainable packaging and climate change. Coca-Cola HBC Ventures invests in the potential of these start-ups and offers a testing ground for ideas, validating and building credibility for their concepts.
Manna is the world’s first aviation-grade B2B drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ company. The Manna drone fleet is operated by Manna directly from the restaurant or dark kitchen premises and is accessible via API to food tech providers and online food platforms alike in a channel-agnostic manner. One fleet for all demand.
Manna is licensed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) with a ‘light UAS operator certificate’ (LUC). Manna received the first (LUC) for commercial drone delivery issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) & European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), opening up Europe-wide opportunities for the company. Manna also worked with the Irish Government and national health service (HSE) on a pilot test delivering medication to those who needed it to demonstrate the applications of drone delivery.
Manna fly custom-developed aerospace grade drones to deliver products directly to customer's homes with an average flight time of just three minutes. The drones fly at an altitude of 50-80 metres and at a speed of over 60kph.
To date Manna has raised over €40m from highly respected investors such as Molten Ventures, Tapestry VC, Partners of DST Global, Dynamo Ventures, Atlantic Bridge, ffVC and Elkstone Ventures.