British footballer Dele Alli’s latest investment is a vegan meat company.
Vegan chicken brand Tindle—created by Singapore’s Next Gen Foods—is seeking U.S. market entry with a $20 million extended seed round. This follows an initial $10 million round (the largest-ever for a plant-based food tech company) and brings the total to $30 million.
Alli, who currently plays for both Tottenham Hotspurs and the England squad, is just one of Tindle’s latest round of investors, which also includes Global Fund GGV Capital, Yeo Hiap Seng, Bits x Bites, Blitzscaling (2018) co-author Chris Yeh, and several other athletes.
The brand’s vegan chicken launched in Singapore in March of this year, and recently expanded to additional restaurants across Hong Kong and Macau, including Alvin Leung’s 2-Michelin starred Bo Innovation. It is now available in a total of 70 different restaurants.
“We have designed a business model that enables us to be truly global from day one, with accelerated expansion across different continents. As such, our impact can be amplified and we can increase our contribution towards a more sustainable food system,” says Next Gen co-founder and CEO Andre Menezes.
Tindle Poised For Entry to U.S. Market
Tindle is cholesterol and GMO-free, combining nine distinct plant-based ingredients—including wheat, soy, and coconut oil—for 17g of protein per 100g of chicken. According to Next Gen, its flagship product also “delivers the same taste, texture, and aroma” of traditional chicken. This is thanks to Lipi: a proprietary ingredient that recreates the exact flavor and aroma of animal fat.
“We marry cutting-edge technology with a diversified network of specialists to create plant-based products that deliver delicious taste experiences,” said Next Gen chairman and co-founder Timo Recker. “Our goal is to make the consumer forget why animals were ever needed in the first place!”
Tindle plans to enter the $1.4 billion U.S. vegan meat market within 12 months, exploiting a gap in the sector for plant-based chicken—predicted to be the next big meat-free trend following burgers and beef.
“The United States is the world’s biggest market for plant-based foods,” said Menezes. “The outstanding response from both existing and new investors shows their confidence in our innovative technology, highly scalable business model, differentiated taste experiences, and the ability of our team.”
Dele Alli’s Previous Investments
Tindle is not Alli’s first foray into the world of business. He set up property company Future Homes Investments Ltd in 2016 and also backs British eSports (competitive gaming) franchise Excel, which also raised significant new equity capital in 2021.
Twenty-five-year-old Alli made his England team debut in 2015 at the age of 19 after appearing in the U17, U18, and U19 teams. The youthful and socially conscious England lineup, of which Alli is part, has inspired renewed interest in the game after reaching the European Football Championship finals, championing LGBTQI+ pride, taking the knee before matches to highlight racism, and even tackling the UK’s rampant food poverty with FareShare.
Many investors see the booming plant-based market as an opportunity for both making money and impact investing: supporting companies and ventures with a measurable social or environmental impact. For example, Tindle emits 88 percent fewer greenhouse gases, uses 74 percent less land, and requires 82 percent less water than conventional chicken.