Samsung Galaxy takes to the skies with Irish drone delivery service

23 Mar 2021

Eamonn Grant of Samsung Ireland and Alan Hicks of Manna. Image: Andrew Downes Photography

Customers in Galway will be able to receive the latest Samsung smartphones and accessories via Manna’s drones.

Irish customers buying Samsung Galaxy mobile devices and accessories will be able to avail of drone delivery. The South Korean tech company has partnered with Dublin-based drone delivery start-up Manna in a first for the business globally.

Manna intends to facilitate end-to-end drone delivery for Samsung customers across Ireland, ensuring a contactless experience. However, the service is only available from today (23 March) for customers in Oranmore, Co Galway.

Drone delivery will be available via Samsung Ireland’s online store for devices such as the S21 Ultra 5G smartphones, the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Galaxy Tab S7, the Galaxy Watch 3 or the Galaxy A smartphone series announced just last week

Manna claims its custom-developed drones can deliver to homes in Oranmore within three minutes. Its aviation-grade drones fly at an altitude of 50m to 80m and a speed of more than 60kph.

‘We are embracing what we believe will be the future of retail’

“At Samsung we are always looking for ways to bring meaningful innovation to our customers so we’re really excited to be the first technology company in Ireland to make our products available to our customers via drone delivery,” said Eamonn Grant, head of online for Samsung Ireland.

“To be able to deliver our products to our customers within three minutes of leaving the dispatch centre is a brilliant example of innovation in motion. Superior customer experience is at the heart of what we do and with this new service we are embracing what we believe will be the future of retail. In the current environment, there is no better time to provide a contactless alternative to ‘click and collect’ and we are really thrilled to be partnering Manna to achieve this.”

Manna’s business of drone delivery as a service has already attracted trial partners such as Tesco, Camile Thai and other businesses, delivering groceries, hot food, books and pharmacy items.

The autonomous drone fleet is operated by Manna directly from the premises of the business partner, such as a restaurant, dark kitchen or retail space. It is also accessible via API, opening up the technology to food-tech providers and online food platforms in a channel-agnostic manner.

“We recognise that the potential for the application of drone delivery is enormous,” said Manna CTO Alan Hicks.

At the end of last year, Manna was named Startup of the Year 2020 at the National Startup Awards.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.