Manna Drone Delivery Announces Investment by Coca-Cola HBC + First U.S Trial in Texas

The much-promised leap into the U.S drone deliv­ery mar­ket by Irish-based Man­na, is hap­pen­ing after a strate­gic invest­ment by Coca-Cola HBC, reports a press release. The investor is a bot­tling part­ner of The Coca-Cola Com­pa­ny.

Through its Ven­tures arm, Coca-Cola HBC col­lab­o­rates with “dis­rup­tive start-ups that have syn­er­gies with its busi­ness ambi­tions in the areas of last mile, vend­ing, cof­fee tech­nol­o­gy and sus­tain­abil­i­ty.”

Last Sep­tem­ber, dur­ing an evtolinsights.com inter­view with Manna’s Founder and CEO, Bob­by Healy, the company’s ambi­tion to enter the U.S mar­ket was briefly dis­cussed.

The “strate­gic col­lab­o­ra­tion” will pro­vide impor­tant insights and exper­tise from a mar­ket lead­ing bev­er­age com­pa­ny, and over time, the two organ­i­sa­tions aim to work togeth­er and iden­ti­fy oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for Man­na to scale across Coca-Cola HBC’s ter­ri­to­ries, includ­ing cen­tral and east­ern Euro­pean mar­kets.

Miles Karemach­er, Gen­er­al Man­ag­er, of Coca-Cola HBC Ire­land and North­ern Ire­land said, “Our part­ner­ship encap­su­lates an ambi­tion to deliv­er our prod­ucts in new and more sus­tain­able ways.  Togeth­er we will fur­ther enhance our posi­tion in this rapid­ly devel­op­ing dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nel and progress our sus­tain­abil­i­ty com­mit­ments.” Adding, “For us on the island of Ire­land this part­ner­ship pro­vides an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to be at the fore­front of dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies across the con­sumer pack­aged goods mar­ket.”

Bob­by Healy, com­ment­ed, “We are delight­ed to part­ner with Coca-Cola HBC on our jour­ney to bring a new form of deliv­ery to sub­ur­ban homes and as we start to scale glob­al­ly. Hav­ing a brand like Coca-Cola HBC onboard is a tes­ta­ment to the real­i­sa­tion that last mile deliv­ery can be done in a more effi­cient, safer and green­er way.”

Man­na also announced it will com­mence a tri­al in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in part­ner­ship with multi­na­tion­al real estate devel­op­ment com­pa­ny Hill­wood, to ini­tial­ly offer drone deliv­ery to a select num­ber of the company’s res­i­den­tial devel­op­ments.

Bob­by Healy (cen­tre) Along­side Leo Varad­kar and Enter­prise Ire­land Mem­bers

Hill­wood is the devel­op­er of Alliance­Texas, a 27,000-acre mixed-use, mas­ter-planned com­mu­ni­ty and home to the Mobil­i­ty Inno­va­tion Zone. The part­ners have co-cre­at­ed a plan to make light­ning-fast drone deliv­ery ser­vice avail­able.

Christo­pher Ash, senior VP of avi­a­tion busi­ness devel­op­ment for Hill­wood, explained that the mixed-use devel­op­ment pro­vides a unique envi­ron­ment to test new tech­nolo­gies. “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.”

Healy con­tin­ued, “This invest­ment and sup­port comes at the right time, as we announce a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone, our first U.S tri­al with Hill­wood devel­op­ments. These part­ner­ships are to be inte­gral for our growth as we begin to scale glob­al­ly.”

Irish Politi­cian and Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar TD, a major sup­port­er of Man­na Drone Deliv­ery, remarked, “Man­na is a great exam­ple of Irish inno­va­tion, trans­form­ing indus­tries and part­ner­ing with glob­al brands. I wish them every suc­cess for this new ven­ture.”

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