Published On: Sat, Jun 27th, 2020

Foodtech company Tovala raises $20m in Series B round for smart ovens

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Tovala, a Chicago-based foodtech company, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Finistere Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on making investments in the agrifood sector.

The Chicago-based foodtech company manufactures the Tovala Smart Oven that scans, steams, broils, and bakes chef-crafted meals.

The Series B funding round of Tovala had participation from new investors such as Comcast Ventures, OurCrowd, and Rich Products Ventures in addition to previous investors Origin Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, New Stack Ventures, Gordon Segal – founder of Crate & Barrel, and the University of Chicago.

Arama Kukutai – co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures said: “Tovala uniquely sits at the intersection of trends in the smart home and meal kit spaces: Meals enabled by an automated device, delivering convenience without compromise. We recognize Tovala’s potential to own the kitchen countertop and look forward to being part of their expansion journey as we increase our investment in the food space.

“Tovala demonstrated substantive growth and industry-leading retention even before the current shift in consumer food delivery models, and we think the company is poised to lead the reinvention of the food delivery market as it matures.”

Tovala Smart Oven

Tovala Smart Oven. Photo courtesy of Business Wire

Tovala said that the capital from the funding will be used for accelerating growth, expand production capabilities and grow its team to enable scaling of its fresh meal service and tech-driven countertop oven to reach new customers across the US.

Established in 2017, the foodtech company is said to offer an easier solution for home cooking by providing fresh, scan-to-cook meals without the time commitment or preparation that is typically involved. Its WiFi-connected countertop oven steams, bakes, and broils based on a custom QR code, and is claimed to expertly cook each individual meal.

Tovala claims that its meal kits are fresh and do not compromise on taste or texture unlike reheated dishes. The US foodtech company also added that it has sold more than one million meals to its customers.

David Rabie – CEO and founder of Tovala said: “Tovala delivers on the promise of a home-cooked meal without any of the work involved in getting a delicious, hot meal on the table. We fill a void for customers who crave convenience without sacrificing quality.

“We’re excited to partner with Finistere Ventures to propel our business forward and bring Tovala to more people.”

Tovala’s Scan-to-Cook feature, which was introduced in 2019, is said to enable its smart ovens to scan the barcode on more than 750 brand-name grocery items to perfectly cook them without preheating.

The foodtech company said that it has partnered with LG and embedded its Scan-to-Cook technology in LG smart ovens under LG’s Connected Home initiative. Furthermore, Tovala joined forces with Beyond Meat and celebrity Chef Graham Elliot for limited-time Tovala Meal offerings, apart from an expanded distribution by selling on QVC, a US free-to-air television network.

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