This Drone Company May Change the Way You Think About Take-Out Forever

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mannaThis Irish startup is trying to totally change the way that you think about takeout.

Manna.aero, which the company describes as “the world’s first aviation-grade B2B drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ company” has just raised about $5 million to get off the ground.

Founded in 2018 by Bobby Healy, former CTO of CarTrawler and Eland technologies, Manna is getting major buzz – both for the new funding, a major partnership, and a delivery methodology that saves a lot of time and solves a lot of problems.

Manna uses custom-designed drones to deliver food directly from restaurants and central kitchens to consumers’ homes. The food is packages and travels in the drone’s cargo bay – and is delivered by lowering the cargo package to the customer, rather than landing the drone.  This avoids major issues – the last 50 feet being one of the most complex parts of the drone delivery process.  The drone will ascend to 80 metres and fly at 80 kph –  delivering within a neighborhood in less than 3 minutes. The company also says that the drone can deliver in all weathers – hail, rain or snow.

Manna’s drones also address some of the common community conccerns about drone delivery.  In an op-ed published on Sifted, Healy says that Manna’s drones are first and foremost, safe: with a simple service envelope (2 kilos of food in a 2 km radius) and built in redundancies.  In addition, the drones are quiet: no louder than the average conversation to a person on the ground.

 Manna scored a major partnership in Ireland, signing an agreement with food delivery service Flipdish last summer.  With this new funding, Manna hopes to be an emerging leader in the space – launching commercially in the U.S. and Europe in “early 2020.” 

Food delivery is an important step in regularizing drone delivery.  It’s an application that offers a huge opportunity to gather flight data, helping regulatory agencies make informed decisions – and it introduces a wider public to the beneficial aspects of drone technology.  Even if that’s just a hot hamburger to start with.



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