Singaporean start-up Next Gen Foods enters US after raising $100m

Company offers Tindle, a plant-based 'chicken', in the UAE, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore

Next Gen Foods’ Tindle is a plant-based 'chicken' product. The company aims to introduce it to new markets in 2022. Photo: Next Gen Foods
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Singaporean food technology start-up Next Gen Foods raised $100 million in its latest funding round as the company entered the US market.

The funds will help the start-up to expand into various US states, support research and development activities to produce new sustainable food products, and improve product innovation capability at its research centre that will open in Singapore this year, Next Gen Foods said on Tuesday.

South-East Asian venture capital firm Alpha JWC, Singapore-based global investment fund EDBI and the UK's MPL Ventures participated in the funding round.

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The US has long been a target market for us and thanks to our line-up of fantastic investors who have participated in this funding round, this is only the beginning of our journey
Andre Menezes, chief executive and co-founder of Next Gen Foods

Returning investors from the previous rounds included Temasek, through its newly established Asia Sustainable Food Platform, GGV Capital, K3 Ventures and Bits x Bites.

“The US has long been a target market for us and thanks to our line-up of fantastic investors who have participated in this funding round, this is only the beginning of our journey in delivering delicious and sustainable foods to reverse our climate crisis,” said Andre Menezes, chief executive and co-founder of Next Gen Foods.

Founded in 2020, the start-up is now offering Tindle — its popular chicken substitute made from plants — in top restaurants in the US. The American debut follows the company’s successful UAE launch in September last year.

The Tindle food trailer was also part of the Middle East’s first-ever vegan food festival held at the festival garden of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Plant-based chicken isn’t new. Competition has been heating up with a number of exciting new launches from big players.

On average, “meat” made from plants uses less land, less water and produces less carbon dioxide than regular meat. Plant-based chicken uses 82 per cent less water and 74 per cent less land while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 88 per cent, a report by sustainable food and agriculture firm Blue Horizon said.

Tindle is available in various markets, including the UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

The new funding will help the company to introduce Tindle to “key markets around the globe”, said Next Gen Foods, which raised $30m last year.

“GGV is excited to deepen our relationship with the Next Gen Foods team … we seek companies that can separate themselves from the rest of the industry through technology, innovation and passion,” said Jenny Lee, managing partner at GGV Capital.

“We look forward to their next phase of expansion into the US and beyond.”

Next Gen Foods aims to expand its R&D team across Singapore and the US to include additional protein scientists and food technologists with ingredient and product development expertise.

“Within a year, we have gone from launch to more than 200 restaurants on three continents,” said Rohit Bhattacharya, the company’s chief financial officer.

“We will continue this relentless momentum in 2022 thanks to strong demand from chefs, distributors and consumers, who love Tindle for its great taste and tiny environmental footprint,” said Mr Bhattacharya.

Updated: February 16, 2022, 4:45 AM
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