Co-founders of Next Gen, Andre Menezes and Timo Recker
Next Gen, a foodtech start-up that produces plant-based meat, has launched in Singapore after raising $2.2 million in seed funding. The investors in the funding round were not disclosed.
Since the funding round, Next Gen has established its headquarters, leadership team and research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore. Here, the start-up aims to build a global consumer brand, with anticipated expansion to China, USA and Europe over the next three years.
Next Gen said it had chosen Singapore as its global headquarters because of its innovation ecosystem, as well as its centrality to Asia. According to data from Technavio, cited by Next Gen, Asia will see significant growth in the global meat substitutes market and estimates it to reach a value of $12.75 billion by 2030.
According to Next Gen, it aims to launch its consumer brand within the next six months and is also preparing for a Series A financing round in 2021 to drive its global expansion, technology and R&D.
The start-up is co-founded by Andre Menezes and Timo Recker, the previous founder and CEO of German plant-based meat company LikeMeat, which was acquired by The Livekindly Co earlier this year. Meanwhile, Menezes was previously the general manager of Country Foods Singapore, where he was involved in making Impossible Foods a household name in the country.
Recker said: “Our plant protein production and distribution are being built around a network of partners, who bring capacity, expertise and resources that can be scaled quickly. For example, we have manufacturing capacity of over 5,000 tons per year in place. Based on current average consumption, that means we expect we could serve 9,000 restaurants.”
For the start-up, Singapore offers a strong infrastructure to support food technology innovations like alternative protein.
“The city offers a fantastic entrepreneurial ecosystem, private equity and venture capital, and an enviable legal and support environment. It also has a vibrant dining scene and some exceptionally talented chefs, who will help us to introduce our brand to the people of Singapore, and from here to those across Asia and around the world,” said co-founder Andre Menezes.
He added: “The two big brands – Impossible and Beyond – have done a great job bringing out beef burgers, but globally, the big and unmet opportunity is plant-based chicken.”
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