Tovala announces $1.6M seed round of funding

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably felt the pain of an uncertain dinner. You know what it’s like to get home late, exhausted at the mere thought of having to decide what to eat. There are so many options…but none of them are quite right.

We’ve built a countertop oven that pairs with a meal service that will make that decision for you. It was designed with one goal in mind: to make it easy to enjoy fresh home cooking in minutes, with no prep or cleanup.

It starts with our Alinea-trained chef, Alexander, who spends his days creating amazing recipes that will soon get shipped to your doorstep.

Those meals will arrive fresh and ready to cook in your Tovala smart oven. All you’ll do is scan a barcode and push start.

Combi-steam ovens have historically been reserved for the best restaurants in the world. That changes with Tovala. The oven uses a combination of steam, baking, broiling, and convection heating to do anything from sous vide to searing just as those restaurants would. And with precision temperature control, it does it with incredible accuracy.

And yes, the oven works independent of our meal service — it’s connected to wifi so you can cook, monitor and experiment with your own recipes from your phone.

We’re excited to publicly announce that early this summer, we raised $1.6 million to make our vision a reality. The round was led by Origin Ventures, the Chicago-based fund that helped GrubHub become what it is today. “The team at Tovala has continued to execute on a complex idea — we’re excited to work with them as they make it easier for people to eat better,” said Jason Heltzer @ Origin.

In addition to the wonderful team at Origin, we worked hard to surround ourselves with other investors that have successful operating experience, including Twitch and Cruise Automation founder Kyle Vogt; Weebly founders Dan Veltri and Chris Fanini; and the founder of Seamless Web and RiverPark Ventures, Andy Appelbaum. Others participating in the round include New Stack Ventures, GREE, Y Combinator Partner Paul Buchheit and Service Provider Capital.

With many of the major production hurdles behind us now, the team is focused on ensuring that the experience of using a Tovala smart oven, whether for your own recipe or for one of our meals, is an amazing experience — and one that everyone gets to enjoy by early next year.