Listening yo the radio (yes it still exists) recently I realized that the ‘futurist’ that was being spoken with was hypothesizing that drones would “one day be providing food, however not any time soon”.
Well, a lot for that prediction. Because concerning an Irish family early next year will be drones providing exactly that.
For Manna, a B2B2 drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ business, today announced an extra financing round of $3M, led by Eager beaver VC, a logistics-focused fund. The move brings Manna’s overall seed financing to $5.2 M.
Manna pitches itself as an ‘aviation-grade’ drone delivery company, and prepares to roll-out a totally autonomous drone shipment platform starting early 2020, initially in Europe and then in the US.
Manna’s drone itself is different. It is far more ‘modular’ that other drones you may have seen and for that reason provides itself to logistics, like deliveries. It likewise utilizes custom-made aerospace-grade drones integrated in Europe and the USA.
The drones are designed for ‘all weathers’ and do not fly above 500 feet, taking them out of the airspace of airplanes. The preliminary food deliveries in Ireland will be in rural areas, eventually reaching the residential areas of towns and cities.
The first services offered will be to online meal purchasing platforms, dining establishment chains and ‘dark kitchens’ with an amazing 3-minute shipment guarantee. Certainly this would be far cheaper and faster than road-based shipments, especially in backwoods.
It’s likewise coordinated with Flipdish, the business that operates an online shipment platform used by dining establishments and takeaways, in Ireland.
The Manna drone fleet will, they state, be run directly from the restaurant or dark cooking area properties and will be available by means of API to food tech providers and online food platforms alike in a channel-agnostic manner. That means you end up with one drone fleet serving all and any of the suppliers, based upon demand.
Founder and serial business owner Bobby Healy previously developed and offered Eland Technologies to ‘SITA.AERO’ in 2003, and more just recently constructed CarTrawler, a b2b mobility market for the airline industry where he is still on the board after several personal equity LBOs.
Healy states: “We are on the cusp of the fifth industrial transformation– powered by drones– and our intention with Manna is to make drone shipment as pervasive as running water– to actually change markets, economies, and neighborhoods all over the world in a method that not just reduces our carbon footprint, but conserves lives and produces jobs while doing so.”
Jon Bradford who led the investment for Eager beaver Ventures stated: “It’s tough to discover a rockstar team as ambitious and as capable as the Manna team, and in a domain that is as huge as it is tough. In Bobby and his amazing team, we see a path to record a genuine beachhead in this new emerging market that is genuinely unmatched and we look forward to assisting accelerate their vision in the United States in 2020”.