Singapore-based alternative protein startup Next Gen Foods gets $100M Series A for US growth


Plant-based chicken TiNDLE used in a sandwich and fried chicken
Image Credits: Next Gen Foods (opens in a new window)

Alternative protein startups have attracted a lot of investor attention over the past couple of years, and the trend looks set to continue. The latest startup with funding news is Next Gen Foods, the creator of plant-based chicken alternative TiNDLE. The company announced today it has raised a $100 million Series A that will be used to expand quickly in the United States and on its Singapore research and development center, which is currently under construction.

Next Gen Foods says this is the largest Series A ever raised by a plant-based meat company, based on data from PitchBook. TechCrunch first covered Next Gen Foods when it raised a $10 million seed round in February 2021, and then a $20 million extension just five months later.

Next Gen Foods to launch its plant-based chicken in the US after raising a $20M seed extension from investors like GGV

The company’s Series A, which brings its total funding so far to $130 million, includes new investors Alpha JWC, EDBI and MPL Ventures, as well as returning investors like Temasek (through its wholly owned Asia Sustainable Food Platform), GGV Capital, K3 Ventures and Bits X Bites. The new capital will be used to fuel TiNDLE’s distribution in all 50 states.

Like other alternative protein brands, including Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, Next Gen Foods is building brand recognition through partnerships with chefs who create and serve dishes in their restaurants, before moving to other distribution channels like grocery stores. It is currently available at restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Napa, New York and Philadelphia, with more planned, including Miami and Austin.

Beyond Meat launches plant-based chicken tenders at US restaurants

Starting today, U.S. distributors can also order TiNDLE through DOT Foods, one of the U.S.’s largest food re-distributors. It is also available through and Cheetah for restaurants located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Co-founder and CEO Andre Menezes says TiNDLE, made with a proprietary blend of plant-based ingredients, like sunflower oil, has already proven its ability to work in diverse cuisines through launches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Amsterdam.

Next Gen Foods’ rapid international expansion was enabled by its asset-light model, Menezes said. Instead of building its own production facilities, Next Gen Foods will work with production partners in each of its markets, including the U.S., in a relationship Menezes compares to Apple and Foxconn.

“If we were building our own factory and doing everything ourselves, we would probably still be building it right now and hiring the talent to start our first expansion, and we would have probably invested all the capital that shareholders invested in us into building that facility,” he said. “For us, that’s not quick or scalable enough for our business model and we believe there are people around the world who can do that extremely well.”

Next Gen Foods develops components, ingredients and recipes and then enters into manufacturing contracts with partners, sharing quality assurance procedures to ensure that each one uses the same processes to maintain consistency.

TiNDLE is Next Gen Foods’ first brand and it plans to increase product roster, including different categories of TiNDLE (like pre-prepared nuggets or tenders). Menezes said it eventually plans to introduce alternatives to other animal proteins besides chicken, but that probably won’t happen within the next two years because its priority is to expand TiNDLE’s presence in the U.S. and other big markets, like Brazil or China, first.

Next Gen Foods’ R&D center is being developed in partnership with the Food Tech Innovation Center, which was established by Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform. The company plans to hire protein scientists and food technologists in Singapore (which has become a major hub for alternative meat development and production), Europe and the United States.

In a prepared statement, GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee said, “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 U.S. and beyond.”

Is cell-cultured meat ready for prime time?

More TechCrunch

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI is removing ChatGPT’s AI voice that sounds like Scarlett Johansson

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft Build 2024: All the AI and hardware products Microsoft announced

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says