Drone delivery startup Manna raises $25 million to scale up operations
Manna has announced a $25 million Series A led by Draper Esprit, with participation from Team Europe, DST Global, and with participation from existing investors Dynamo Ventures, Atlantic Bridge, and Elkstone.
Manna designs, builds and operates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which perform high-speed deliveries of cargo up to 3kgs (6.5lbs) in suburban last-mile settings.
A single Manna employee operating multiple drones is able to operate nearly 20 deliveries per hour - 10 times what can be done with traditional road-based delivery. The service is quieter, greener, faster, respects privacy and is safer than road-based alternatives.
The company is currently trialling its service in Galway, Ireland, representing the largest drone delivery trial of its kind globally. The operation supports over 100 deliveries a day directly to the homes of the nearly 10,000 residents of the town, and has been a huge success with more than 30 percent of the population already using the high-speed service.
Manna has also signed B2B partnerships with major brands and retailers, including JustEat, Samsung, Ben & Jerry’s and Tesco - one of the largest grocery retailers in Europe - making 3-minute delivery time to catchment areas as large as 50 square kilometers a reality.
Watch Manna in action in this behind-the-scenes video
Bobby Healy, CEO and founder of Manna, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic forced consumers across the world to re-assess how they source their goods and opened our eyes to the fragility of our supply chains. There is a huge appetite for a greener, quieter, safer and faster delivery service, and we’re excited to use this fresh round of funding to expand operations and offer our service to even more customers. We are already working with our partners to deliver grocery products, takeaways and pharmaceutical supplies, and as we continue to scale our fleet of drones we will also begin supporting critical medical deliveries.”
Nicola McClafferty, partner at Draper Esprit, added, “We are committed to supporting companies that have the potential to change how we live and Manna is a true example of this. Drones will play a key role in building a long term and sustainable delivery infrastructure for communities around the world and Manna is already making that a reality. We are thrilled and privileged to be supporting Bobby and the Manna team as they create the future of food delivery.”
Lukasz Gadowski, co-founder of Team Europe and also co-founder of Delivery Hero added, “With real customers and real deliveries already in place today, Manna has demonstrated the perfect model for drone delivery of takeout food, and I’m super-excited to see them expand and scale. The future is being rewritten and Manna are the clear leaders in this nascent space.”