Impact Tech | June 18, 2024

Tender Food scores $11 million for plant-based alternative meats

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Tender Food (formerly Boston Meats) uses a fiber-spinning process akin to making cotton candy to turn plant protein into “structured” cuts of meat, including steak, chicken breast, seafood and pulled pork. Its Series A funding was led by Rhapsody Venture Partners, with existing investors Lowercarbon Capital and Safar Partners and new investors Claridge Partners and Nor’easter Ventures.

The Somerville, Mass.-based company is increasing protein production to lower costs and speed commercialization. Existing plant-based meat products in the alternative proteins market are “too expensive, they don’t taste good, and are mostly limited to burgers and sausages,” said Tender’s Christophe Chantre.

The company, which attracted actress Natalie Portman to its $12 million seed round two years ago, says its alternative meat products are 100% plant-based.

Commercial partners

Early versions of Tender’s meat products are available in some restaurants and universities in Massachusetts. The startup secured a contract earlier this year with Clover Food Lab, a vegetarian restaurant chain with 14 locations around Boston. Clover, founded by MIT alumnus and environmentalist Ayr Muir, aims to address animal agriculture’s contribution to global warming with a more sustainable food system.

Tender Food Is based at Greentown Labs, the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America.