Manna, a Dublin-based drone delivery startup, has raised additional funding led by Dynamo Ventures, a global supply chain and logistics-focused fund, bringing the final close of its seed round to $5.2 million.
Manna.Aero is an aviation-grade B2B drone delivery “as-a-service” company, with plans to roll out a fully autonomous drone delivery platform beginning early 2020, launching in Europe and the US. Yet the company has not disclosed how it will work with local governments and policymakers to implement such an ambitious plan.
The airborne logistics platform will provide online meal ordering platforms, restaurant chains, and dark kitchens with speedy delivery their local communities for a fraction of the cost of road-based deliveries. The promise is to deliver within two kilometers in less than three minutes.
The drones, of custom design and build in Europe and the US, would fly at an altitude of 80 metres and a speed of over 80 kph. A Manna drone fleet would be operated directly from the restaurant or dark kitchen, and is also accessible via API to food tech providers and online food platforms alike.
Manna.Aero was founded by Bobby Healy, a serial entrepreneur who built Eland Technologies (and sold to travel industry titan SITA.AERO in 2003), as well as CarTrawler, a B2B mobility marketplace for the airline industry.
Commenting on the company’s greater aspirations, Healy said: “We are on the cusp of the fifth industrial revolution, powered by drones, and our intention with Manna is to make drone delivery as pervasive as running water. We want to literally transform marketplaces, economies, and communities all over the world in a way that not just reduces our carbon footprint, but saves lives and creates jobs while doing so.”
Adding to Healy’s comments, Jon Bradford of Dynamo Ventures said, “It’s hard to find a rockstar team as ambitious and as capable as the Manna team, and in a domain that is as massive as it is difficult. In Bobby and his incredible team, we see a path to capture a real beachhead in this new emerging market that is truly unprecedented and we look forward to helping accelerate their vision in the US in 2020.”