Drone delivery company Manna Aero is planning further expansion, targeting the US later this year and announcing plans to move into Europe in 2023.
The company also plans to launch its service in another Dublin suburb, although it has not yet revealed exact details other than it has a population of about 100,0000.
Manna is planning a new international manufacturing site for the drones, augmenting its existing facility in Co Offaly.
Founded in 2018 by entrepreneur Bobby Healy, Manna has developed aviation-grade drones that fly at 80km/h and deliver goods including groceries, takeaways and medicines, within a 3km-radius in less than three minutes. A single aircraft can do 100 deliveries a day, with up to 20 aircraft capable of being remotely managed by one Manna employee.
“Rolling out Manna’s service domestically and internationally has always been part of our strategy; we are delighted that this is going to be achieved,” Mr Healy said. “Expanding into the US and across Europe in 2022-23, while also providing another large Dublin suburb with drone delivery and the addition of another manufacturing site shows our rapid growth plans and dedication to our mission.”
Manna began with a trial of the drone delivery services in Oranmore, Co Galway, before expanding to the Dublin suburb of Balbriggan, with four aircraft covering the 35,000 population. Among the companies it works with are Tesco, Healthwave, Applegreen and Blasta Street Kitchen.
The company employs 103 people, with plans announced earlier this year to add 50 staff locally to address demand.
The latest expansion was welcomed by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. “Manna is a great example of an indigenous Irish company at the cutting edge of a high-potential growth industry,” he said. “This year Manna has created 50 new jobs in Balbriggan, and I know they have ambitious expansion plans for the future.”
The expansion follows a $25 million (€24.2 million) funding round in 2021 that the company said would fuel its international growth. The company has raised more than €30 million to date, with backers including Molten Ventures, Team Europe, Partners of DST Global, Founders Fund, Dynamo Ventures, Atlantic Bridge and Elkstone.