Foodtech startup Next Gen raises US$10m in seed round

SINGAPORE-BASED foodtech startup Next Gen, which develops plant-based foods, has closed a US$10 million seed round.

Investors in the round include Temasek, K3 Ventures, New Ventures (an arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board), and German wholesaler Metro's NX-Food.

Fresh funds from the seed round will be used for the global launch of Next Gen's plant-based chicken consumer brand, called TiNDLE, in Singapore next month.

Its product, TiNDLE Thy, was developed to mirror the taste and versatility of chicken thigh, said Next Gen. It will be distributed by the company's official distributor Classic Fine Foods, and be rolled out in select restaurants.

The company said its roadmap for the next year or two includes raising Series A funding, product diversification and international expansion into Europe and the United States. Next Gen added that it has recruited a growth director for its US expansion, to help the company build a network of distributors, restaurants and chefs ahead of its Singapore launch.

Next Gen co-founder and chief executive Timo Recker said that the seed round had "exceptional response from investors", raising more than its initial US$7 million target.

"This is a strong validation of our team, our technology, our business model, our product and our expansion strategy," he added.

Its founders had put in US$2.2 million to start the company on Oct 1, 2020. Prior to founding Next Gen, Mr Recker was the founder and chief executive of German plant-based meat company, LikeMeat; co-founder Andre Menezes was the general manager of Country Foods Singapore.