Brava, makers of the eponymous countertop smart oven, has been acquired by industrial and residential cooking equipment company, Middleby. TechCrunch broke the news, and details of the acquisition were not provided other than it was a mix of cash and stock. The four-year-old Brava had raised $12 million in funding
Brava came out of stealth in July of 2018, showing off its countertop smart oven that uses light to cook and has the ability to cook different types of food at different temperatures at the same time. The Brava oven shipped alongside an accompanying meal plan in November of last year, costing a whopping $1,000.
Brava Founder and CEO John Pleasants said in the TechCrunch article that the company was “closing in on 5,000 customers,” which isn’t a lot. But it’s not hard to understand why Brava has struggled in the market. It was the most expensive of the countertop smart ovens at the time, and in our testing, it was hampered by the small cooking cavity and tripped up by other design details that diminished the experience.
The smart oven market is still relatively new, but it’s a crowded space, with other startups like June, Tovala, Suvie already offering products and Anova‘s smart oven on the way (not to mention existing appliance makers like Whirlpool). Brava’s high price probably prevented the company from gaining serious traction.
As far as its future, the Brava brand will remain and become part of Middleby’s commercial and residential offering (Middleby owns the Viking brand). Pleasants will stay on as CEO of Brava, while the company’s 38 employees will move over to Middleby.
Depending on how this holiday season goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar smart oven acquisitions in 2020.