Next Gen Foods, the producer of TiNDLE – the chicken made from plants – has raised a US$100 million Series A funding round – the largest Series A to date for a plant-based meat company.
Participating in the Series A round are new international investors Alpha JWC, the Southeast Asian venture capital firm; the Singapore-based global investment fund, EDBI; and UK-based MPL Ventures.
Returning from previous rounds are Temasek through its newly established Asia Sustainable Food Platform, GGV Capital, K3 Ventures and Bits x Bites. With the company’s plans to swiftly increase its global footprint this year, the fundraising comes from a broad mix of both Europe and Asia-based investors, following the seed round of US$30 million that took place last summer. Total funding for the start-up now exceeds US$130 million.
Next Gen Foods has also launched in the United States. The firm is now offering its first product, TiNDLE, across a range of restaurants in the US, in some of the country’s leading ‘foodie’ cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Napa, New York, Miami and Philadelphia.
“There’s no question that the United States is home to some of the best food cities on the planet – and we’re excited to bring TiNDLE to this market and hear what consumers think,” said Andre Menezes, CEO and co-founder of Next Gen Foods. “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.”
Growth for 2022 and beyond
The new funding will help to increase distribution of TiNDLE throughout all 50 states in the US. Beginning today, distributors nationwide can now exclusively order the product through DOT Foods – the largest food redistributor in America for over 60 years. Restaurants can order TiNDLE directly through their local distributor, or it is also available for purchase on FoodServiceDirect.com – the online marketplace for quality food and supplies. Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area can also acquire through Cheetah, a local e-commerce marketplace, serving the best restaurants in the region.
In addition, the recent raise will support and increase Next Gen Foods’ R&D and product innovation capabilities at its brand-new research hub set to open in Singapore later this year. The company’s state-of-the-art R&D and Innovation Center – developed in partnership with the Food Tech Innovation Center (FTIC), established by Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform – will act as a launchpad for the development and trial of new technologies, applications and products.
Next Gen Foods also intends 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. Open roles at the company can be found here.
“Within a year, we’ve gone from launch to more than 200 restaurants on three continents. 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 Rohit Bhattacharya, chief financial officer at Next Gen Foods. “We are grateful to have mission aligned and long-term global investors supporting us during such a critical phase for the company – bringing their expertise and visionary leadership.”
“GGV is excited to deepen our relationship with the Next Gen Foods team with this Series A funding round. 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. “Next Gen Foods’ growth in less than a year has been remarkable, as is their ongoing commitment to being part of the solution for how global food production will play a significant role in addressing the impact of climate change. We look forward to their next phase of expansion into the US and beyond.”
Existing investors in Next Gen Foods include NX-FOOD and Yeo Hiap Seng – as well as prominent personalities such as business guru and author Chris Yeh and famed English footballers Dele Alli and Kieran Gibbs.
TiNDLE has seen rapid success across several culinary epicentres – including Singapore, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Dubai – and the new funding supports Next Gen Foods’ acceleration to bring TiNDLE to key markets around the globe like the US. Starting today, American diners can now taste TiNDLE in a range of delicious preparations at select eateries
“I was very impressed with TiNDLE. As a non-vegan chef, I can definitely vouch that this product is very close to mimicking the flavour and texture of chicken,” shared Joshua Yap, Executive Chef at BAIA in San Francisco. “Being at BAIA has widened my range of possibilities in cooking with vegetables and plant-based products. TiNDLE opens up a large window for chefs, vegan or not, to play with and create new recipes in their kitchens.”
Several of America’s leading chefs and culinary personalities – including James Beard Award winner and The New York Times best-selling author, Rocco DiSpirito, and Food Network personality and grill master, Chef Chad Rosenthal – are already innovating and cooking with TiNDLE. Chef Rocco DiSpirito recently joined the company as a culinary advisor and consultant, testing early crowd favorites in his TiNDLE Parmesan Sliders and TiNDLE Lotus Leaf Baos at last fall’s New York City Wine & Food Festival.