Food industry executives launch plant-based meat startup Next Gen

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A GERMAN entrepreneur and a former Country Foods executive have teamed up to launch a plant-based meat startup in Singapore called Next Gen.

Next Gen has seed funding of US$2.2 million, which was fully supplied by its founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Timo Recker. Mr Recker was previously the founder and CEO of German plant-based meat company LikeMeat.

Founded in 2013, LikeMeat's range of products is sold in 10 European countries through 15,000 supermarkets. The company was acquired by global plant-based food firm Livekindly co. earlier this year.

Next Gen's other co-founder is chief operating officer Andre Menezes, who was previously the Singapore general manager of Country Foods. Mr Menezes was involved in making Impossible Foods a well-known brand in Singapore.

Also joining the team is John Seegers, who has assumed the role of the startup's chief technology officer. Mr Seegers has over 25 years of technical experience in plant-based foods, including about six years with LikeMeat in Germany.

Next Gen plans to launch its consumer brand in the next six months and aims to expand to China, the US and Europe over the next three years, said Mr Recker.

It is preparing to onboard external investors in a Series A funding round in 2021. The funds will be used to drive global expansion, technology as well as research and development.

"Plant-based meat consumer demand is fuelled by health concerns, environmental awareness, along with the improving taste and quality of plant-based products. 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," said Mr Menezes.


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