SG’s TiffinLabs names former JD.com Southeast Asia chief as next CEO

Soon Sze-Meng

TiffinLabs, a Singapore-based cloud kitchen and digital restaurant group, has roped in former JD.com Southeast Asia chief Soon Sze Meng as its next CEO.

Soon will assume the role from 1 January 2022, according to a statement, and lead the startup’s expansion across Southeast Asia and the United States.

Prior to this appointment, he served as JD.com’s Southeast Asia president for over two years. He also sat on the board of prominent tech firms such as Gojek, Tiki, JD.ID, JX and JD Central in the region.

“Having founded TiffinLabs more than two years ago, our company has been thick in the action of the global food industry’s digital pivot. With Sze Meng’s deep experience in the e-commerce and digital economy sectors, we see a huge opportunity to scale our unique offering and evolve the traditional food ecosystem to be fit for the digital economy,” said Kishin RK, founder and chairman of TiffinLabs.

In a LinkedIn post on his appointment as TiffinLabs CEO, Soon noted the “once in a lifetime change towards delivery-focused food, digitization of kitchen operations, acceptance of alternative protein food and the need to grow businesses in a sustainable manner.”

Since TiffinLabs’s inception in 2020, the firm has introduced over 20 digital restaurant brands across Singapore and the US. It has also partnered with food producers and brands such as Barilla and Nestle to co-create and commercialise new foods and brands.

Moving forward, TiffinLabs aims to scale its footprint into new and existing markets including Malaysia, Thailand and the US. The firm is currently in Texas, Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan and plans to expand to 30 US cities by the end of 2022.

TiffinLabs is backed by KRK Capital, Phillip Private Equity, NewcrestImage and Hibiscus Fund, a joint fund of Malaysia-based VC firm RHL Ventures and South Korea’s KB Investment.

The online food delivery market in Southeast Asia is expected to double in value by 2025 to reach $23 billion, according to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain. The pandemic has further driven a shift towards delivery-focused food. About 71% of the region’s 440 million internet users have ordered a meal online at least once in the past year, the report noted.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.