Chicago-based food start-up Tovala has closed a $30 million Series C funding round to fuel the growth of its smart oven and self-cook meal service.
Launched in 2017, Tovala pairs its countertop smart oven with ready-to-cook meals. The smart oven offers five different cooking functions – steam, bake, broil, toast and reheat – and the ability to scan-to-cook nearly 1,000 brand-name grocery items.
The round was led by Left Lane Capital, with participation from previous investors Finistere Ventures, Comcast Ventures, OurCrowd, Origin Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Joe Mansueto. It marks Tovala’s second fundraise in six months, bringing its total to over $50 million. In 2018, the company received an investment from Tyson Foods.
With the capital, Tovala plans to open a new production facility, expand its team, improve the customer experience and continue developing its food and consumer technology brand.
According to Tovala, its upward trajectory reached new levels in 2020 as consumers invested in at-home meal solutions that met demands for convenience and quality. Throughout the year, the start-up increased its employees by 40%, launched more than 400 new meals in its rotating weekly menu, rolled out meal customisation options and opened a new production facility.
“During a year when normal life was impossible and we collectively faced unexpected hardships, the Tovala team rallied to provide our customers with a source of comfort: meals they could rely on,” said David Rabie, CEO of Tovala.
“We are grateful to be a growing company during a difficult economic moment and we appreciate the partnership of Left Lane Capital to help our business reach more people in the months and years to come,” he added.
Following the investment, Left Lane Capital – which has invested in HelloFresh – will work closely with the Tovala team as it continues to scale its business nationwide.
Jason Fiedler, co-founder and managing partner at Left Lane Capital, said: “The pairing of a meal subscription with a connected device has enabled Tovala to achieve a customer retention rate that is a step-function better than anything else we’ve seen in food delivery.”
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