Manna Drone Supply Funding Coca-Cola HBC

Manna Drone Delivery Enters US Market, Announces Investment from Coca-Cola HBC

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Irish drone delivery company Manna is beginning a trial in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area in partnership with real estate development company Hillwood, offering drone delivery to a sample of Hillwood’s residential developments.

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Hillwood is the developer of AllianceTexas, a 27,000-acre mixed-use, master-planned community and home to the Mobility Innovation Zone. Pending FAA approval, Manna has developed a plan to provide rapid drone delivery service to more than 10,000 local residents.

“As the division of Hillwood that creates a community for generations of Texas families, innovation is one of our guiding principles when we envision and develop Lifestyle by Hillwood communities,” said Hillwood Communities President Fred Balda. “We are excited to partner with Hillwood’s Mobility Innovation Zone team and manna to use new technologies and bring innovation direct to our families’ doorstep.”

“We’re excited to work with Manna as a key operator at the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone, where they can scale and commercialize drone delivery in one of the world’s most unique environments,” said Christopher Ash, Hillwood’s senior VP of aviation business development. “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.”

This development comes at the same time as a strategic investment in Manna Drone Delivery from Coca-Cola’s bottling partner, Coca-Cola HBC. Coca-Cola HBC’s Ventures arm collaborates with promising start-ups that align with its business goals in areas such as last mile, vending, coffee technology and sustainability.

“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,” said Manna CEO and Founder Bobby Healy. “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 realization that last mile delivery can be done in a more efficient, safer and greener way .”

Investing in this delivery method supports Coca-Cola HBC’s goal of achieving net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040. For Manna, the partnership will bring the leading beverage company’s business insights and expertise. Both companies will look for opportunities for Manna to scale across Coca-Cola HBC’s territories.

“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,” said Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO of 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.”

Currently, Manna serves a Dublin suburb with a population of 35,000, which can be supported with up to 280 deliveries a day. The company recently confirmed that it will soon be expanding to another Dublin suburb with a population of more than 100,000, making it the largest drone delivery operation in Europe. Manna is also pursuing approvals from the FAA that leverage its impressive progress and regulatory success with EASA, Europe’s aviation regulator. So far, the company has raised over $40m from investors including Enterprise Ireland, Molten Ventures, Partners of DST Global ffVC, Dynamo Ventures, and Tapestry VC, CCHBC Ventures, Radius Capital.

“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,” said Leo Varadkar, An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). “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.”

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

TWITTER: @spaldingbarker

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