Irish start-up Manna has announced investment from Coca-Cola HBC and is expanding its drone delivery service to the US market.
Coca-Cola HBC is the strategic bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Through its ventures arm it collaborates with disruptive start-ups that have synergies with its business ambitions in the areas of last mile, vending, coffee technology and sustainability.
“Our investment in 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,” says Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO, Coca-Cola HBC. “We are excited about this partnership which allows us to be at the forefront of disruptive technologies across the worldwide consumer packaged goods (CPG) market. Furthermore, with up to eight times less CO2 compared to car delivery, this partnership with Manna Drones is another step in our journey to achieve net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040.”
The 10,000 residents in Texas’ Dallas-Ft. Worth area of Dallas, Texas will be the next to receive goods via drone as Manna has partnered with multinational real estate development company Hillwood. Hillwood is the developer of AllianceTexas, a 27,000-acre mixed-use, master-planned community and home to the Mobility Innovation Zone.
“We’re excited to work with Manna as a key operator at the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone, where they can scale and commercialise drone delivery in one of the world’s most unique environments,” said Christopher Ash, senior vice president of aviation business development for Hillwood. “At Hillwood, we are a team collaborating to bring innovative supply chain technologies to North Texas and provide next-level amenities to the communities we reach.”
“We are delighted to partner with two major brands, Coca-Cola HBC and Hillwood on our journey to bring a new form of delivery to suburban homes and as we start to scale globally. Working with Hillwood who develop technology-forward, innovative lifestyle communities and with Coca-Cola HBC who are committed to more sustainable and advanced delivery solutions is testament to the realisation that last mile delivery can be done in a more efficient, safer and greener way,” says Bobby Healy CEO and Founder of Manna.
Manna designs, builds, and operates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, read: drones) that are specialised in rapid delivery of takeaway food, groceries, and pharmacy supplies up to 3.5kg in weight.
With the autonomous delivery mechanism, the company reports that a single employee can oversee and manage multiple drones, delivering 20 orders per hour, a figure that is 10x the industry standard when compared to road-based deliveries - flying at an altitude of 50-80 meters and at a speed of over 60 kph.
Operating in sites in Ireland Manna currently has inked partnerships with JustEat, Samsung, Ben & Jerry’s (this is dangerous) and Tesco, one of Europe’s largest grocers.