Manna to begin US drone delivery with Texas trials, Coca-Cola HBC investment

Manna Aero drone delivery us texas coca cola

Manna, a drone delivery startup with Irish roots, is expanding to the US market with strategic investment from Coca-Cola HBC, the bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Manna says it has partnered with multinational real estate development company Hillwood to initially serve 10,000 residents in Texas’ Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Manna’s drones are designed to perform deliveries of up to 3.5 kgs (7 lbs) in high-density suburban last-mile settings. With an average flight time of just three minutes, these drones fly at an altitude of 50-80 meters and at a speed of over 60 kph.

In Europe, where the company has been able to demonstrate enviable success with aviation regulator EASA, Manna caters to a Dublin suburb with a population of 35,000, with plans to expand to another 100,000-strong suburb. Approvals from the FAA to begin US operations are yet to come in, but Manna is excited to make drone delivery service available in a 27,000-acre mixed-use community.

In the meantime, the company is gathering insights and expertise from its latest investor with plans to identify opportunities for Manna to scale across Coca-Cola HBC’s territories. Though the exact amount of Coca-Cola HBC’s investment in Manna is not disclosed, it’s worth noting that the company has raised over $40 million to date.

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Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC, is quick to stress that drone delivery is a step toward helping his company achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040. “Our investment in Manna encapsulates our ambition to deliver our products in new and more sustainable ways. We are excited about this partnership which allows us to be at the forefront of disruptive technologies across the worldwide consumer packaged goods market,” Bogdanovic says.

Bobby Healy, CEO and founder of Manna, adds:

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, which develops technology-forward, innovative lifestyle communities, and with Coca-Cola HBC, which is committed to more sustainable and advanced delivery solutions is a testament to the realization that last-mile delivery can be done in a more efficient, safer, and greener way.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar congratulated the drone delivery company for entering the US market by saying that Manna is a great example of Irish innovation, transforming industries, and partnering with global brands. Here’s Varadkar:

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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