Coca-Cola HBC investment in Manna marks expansion into US market for Irish start-up

Ireland-based Drone services company Manna has announced investment from Coca-Cola HBC, the bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company. The investment is the first step in the company’s expansion into the US market.

Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO, Coca-Cola HBC, said: “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.” The company claims the partnership offers up to eight times less CO2 compared to car delivery, and is “another step in our journey to achieve net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040”, said Bogdanovic.

The 10,000 residents in the Dallas and Fort Worth area of Texas will be the next to receive goods via drone as Manna has also partnered with real estate development firm Hillwood.

Christopher Ash, senior vice president of aviation business development for Hillwood, said: “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. 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.”

Bobby Healy, CEO & founder of Manna, said: “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.”

Manna Drones designs and builds specialised drones for 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.

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