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.