Tiba Tempeh, Founded by Kraft Heinz Veterans, Closes £500k Seed Round to Take Tempeh Mainstream

January 11, 2022 - 3 min read

Tiba Tempeh Range Tiba Tempeh Range

UK plant-based start-up Tiba Tempeh announced today it has closed a £500k seed round to accelerate its growth as it prepares for listings with major UK supermarkets and international expansion. The funding will be used to launch new product innovation, grow the team, and support marketing efforts to drive consumer awareness and trial of tempeh. The investment round was taken by Lever VC, a leading global investor in the alternative protein category whose partners are investors in Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, THIS, and many other category leaders.  

Tiba Tempeh was founded in 2019 by Alex and Ross Longton, food industry veterans with 30 years of experience in senior sales and marketing positions at Kraft Heinz and other food industry leaders. After discovering the benefits of eating a plant-based diet the team wanted to use their food industry experience to help people eat more naturally healthy plant-based foods as they found a lack of such products in the market. On a trip to Indonesia they discovered tempeh, a deliciously natural plant-based protein made from soybeans using a special fermentation process, and Tiba Tempeh was born.

Tiba Tempeh specialises in innovative tempeh products with the current range including Sweet Chilli, Curry Spiced and Soy Marinade pieces that are sold diced, marinated and ready to cook, making them a deliciously convenient meat-free solution for stir-fries, curries, salads, wraps and more.  The company also launched the first ever tempeh burger in UK supermarkets. Unlike many other meat-free products Tiba Tempeh is made with 100% natural ingredients and boasts over 22 grams of protein per 100g serving, a similar level to meat.  The range is also organic, high in fibre, vegan and made with live cultures, tapping into the growing trend towards gut health.

“Tempeh is a growing category opportunity for consumers who want more natural meat alternatives, and Tiba is hands down the best tasting tempeh product we’ve ever come across,” said Nick Cooney, Managing Partner of Lever VC. “We think Tiba Tempeh’s very experienced team, strong brand, exciting innovation and growth plans will position them to be a leading global brand in the category.” 

Meat-free has been the UK’s fastest growing food category, growing 42% year on year, with tempeh sales growing ahead of the category at 112% year on year.  Since launching just over a year ago, Tiba Tempeh has grown quickly and is already listed nationwide in the UK in stores such as Ocado, Planet Organic, Whole Foods and Selfridges. The company has also grown its direct to consumer sales, foodservice channel and supplies to recipe box companies including Mindful Chef.

“We are extremely excited about our partnership with Lever VC, which will accelerate our growth both in the UK and internationally,” said Alex Longton, Managing Director of Tiba Tempeh. “Lever VC’s expertise in the sector will add significant value to further scale the business and help us on our mission to create a healthier world by inspiring people to eat more naturally healthy and sustainable plant-based foods.”

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