Plant-Based Meat Maker Tender Closes Series A Funding, Announces Partnership With Clover

By Dayeeta Das
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Plant-Based Meat Maker Tender Closes Series A Funding, Announces Partnership With Clover

US food technology startup Tender Food Inc. has closed a Series A funding round led by Rhapsody Venture Partners, existing investors Lowercarbon Capital and Safar Partners, and new investors Claridge Partners and Nor’easter Ventures.

The additional funding, exceeding $11 million, will help the Somerville-based company to scale up production and address existing challenges in the plant-based meat category.

Healthy Products

Christophe Chantre, co-founder and CEO of Tender, stated, "Consumers are largely disappointed with plant-based meat products in the market—they’re too expensive, they don’t taste good, and are mostly limited to burgers and sausages with long, unrecognisable ingredient lists.

"We need new technologies to address these challenges and drive meaningful adoption in this category, which is crucial for decarbonising our food system. Our technology allows us to create healthy products that taste great, have the structure and feel of animal meat and are much cheaper to produce.”

The technology used by Tender spins plant protein fibres like cotton candy to create structured cuts of meat.


It results in hyper-realistic, nutritious, affordable, products with simple ingredients, in various formats ranging from pulled pork to chicken breast, seafood and steak.

Partnership With Clover

Tender also entered into a partnership with Clover Food Lab, which saw the rollout of Tender products to all Clover locations in May 2024.

The company offers its early products, such as beef short rib, pulled pork, chicken breast, and crab, in restaurants and universities in the Boston area.

Chris Anderson, senior vice president of Clover, stated, “We're a popular vegetarian chain, so, as you can imagine, we try a lot of new plant-based products. Tender's stood out from the start —it's innovative, it's tasty, it's a great addition to our grain bowls and salads. And most importantly, we're hearing lots of positive feedback from our customers—90% of whom are meat-eaters!”


The company recently appointed former Oatly executive, Mike Messersmith, to its board of directors.

In 2017, Messersmith joined and pioneered the company's US launch and growth for over seven years. He was instrumental in building the brand from scratch and placing it among the leading US oat milk firms.

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