NX-Food invests in Next Gen, a Singapore based food tech start-up, pioneering plant-based foods. They have closed a $10 million seed round, the largest ever for a plant-based food tech company, according to financial data provider Pitchbook.
The funding will be used for the global launch of Next Gen’s plant-based chicken consumer brand "TiNDLE” in Singapore. A range of plant-based chicken meat substitutes will be marketed under this brand in the future. METROs FSD sales line Classic Fine Foods, as the official distribution partner, will take over the distribution of TiNDLE products to selected local restaurants at the launch from March. In the medium term, Next Gen plans to expand to other Asian metropolises and to invest in continued research and development for new plant-based products.
From Germany, Next Gen is supported by NX-Food, the innovation hub of METRO AG. Managing Director Fabio Ziemssen explains: "For us, the investment in Next Gen is a first step as a strategic investor for companies in the alternative protein segment. In addition, our sales division Classic Fine Foods supports as an operational distribution partner. Through this know-how, infrastructure and our expertise in working with startups, we bring together the most important components for a successful launch.”
Next Gen was founded with $2.2 million in seed funding by CEO Timo Recker, ex-CEO of the well-known company LikeMeat, which today markets plant-based meat substitutes in 10 European countries. In addition to METRO, partners include renowned investors such as Temasek, K3 Ventures, the New Ventures arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), FEBE Ventures and Blue Horizon.
Plant-based meat alternatives are experiencing high demand in Western countries and are also increasingly asked for in Asia. According to research firm DuPont N&B, demand for plant-based products in Asia is expected to grow over 200% in the next 5 years. Technavio Research forecasts that the market will be worth $12.75 billion in 2030. In Germany, too, plant-based meat alternatives are now an integral part of the retail and wholesale offer. According to the Nutrition Report 2020 of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, around 49% of those surveyed have already bought vegetarian or vegan alternatives to animal products once or more often,- in order to eat healthier, more climate-friendly and more sustainable food.