Startups and food companies around the world are in a race to create alternatives to traditional meat production, as consumers are becoming more conscious about nutrition and sustainability. Next Gen, a foodtech startup which offers plant-based meats products, launched in Singapore on October 1, armed with a seed funding of USD 2.2 million (SGD 3 million). The investors in the funding round were not disclosed.
The startup has established its headquarters, leadership team and research and development center in Singapore. It is led by Timo Recker and Andre Menezes, who have years of experience in the plant-based protein industry.
Timo was previously the founder and CEO of German plant-based meat company LikeMeat, while Andre was the General Manager of Country Foods Singapore, where he was involved in growing the Impossible Foods brand in Singapore.
The founders plan to use the Singapore as a base, from which it will build a global consumer brand, targeting China, the USA, and Europe as strategic markets. According to a media statement by Next Gen, Singapore was chosen as its headquarters for “its innovation ecosystem, and its centrality to Asia.”
This year, Singapore was recognized as the leading technology hub outside Silicon Valley, according to KPMG’s survey of industry insiders. According to Technavio, Asia will see significant growth in the plant-based meat market and is projected to reach an estimated market value of USD 12.75 billion (SGD 17.41 billion) by 2030. “The demand for plant-based meat products has exploded in the last few years,” said Timo.
A market that’s heating up
Over USD 1.5 billion (SGD 2.05 billion) was invested in plant-based protein globally in the first seven months of 2020, more than doubling 2019’s investment of USD 534 million (SGD 729.29 million). In Singapore alone, investment firm Temasek Holdings has invested about USD 5 billion (SGD 6.83 billion) in the agri-foodtech sector in the past few years. Earlier this week, Singapore-based Shiok Meats raised USD 12.6 million (SGD 17.27 million) in a Series A funding round.
With big brands like Impossible and Beyond gaining popularity in Singapore, Next Gen is poised to further disrupt the industry. All of its products are “GMO-free, produced more sustainably and with less environmental impact than meat.” It offers 100% plant-based meat products which have the “taste, texture and satisfaction of meat, while providing the benefits of a high protein, low carb, low fat, rich in fiber food.”
Currently, the startup is preparing to onboard external investors in a Series A financing round in 2021 to drive its global expansion, technology and R&D.
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.