The Tovala Oven.

Tovala, the smart steam oven startup that offers prepared meal subscriptions for owners of its oven, has announced they have acquired Radish, an on-demand food delivery company based in Chicago. Terms for the deal were not disclosed.

“As an early Radish customer, I was thrilled to get to know their co-founders, Blake and Joe, very well over the last year,” said David Rabie, co-founder and CEO of Tovala, in a release. “Their service and food solved a real problem for customers, so when they approached us about purchasing the company, it wasn’t a hard decision.”

The acquisition of Radish looks to be that largely consists of assets and some operational know-how. The food delivery company ceased delivering food in December of 2016 and Rabie told the Spoon that no company employees will come with the deal.

Tovala CEO David Rabie at the Smart Kitchen Summit

That said, the deal could boost the food delivery fluency of Tovala. Rabie said that Radish had delivered 100 thousand meals in the Chicago area, a pretty impressive number for hyper-local food delivery startup.

According to the announcement, the Radish acquisition will result in customers some new choices on the menu next month:

The first immediate implication: Tovala customers should expect to see some of the most popular Radish dishes appear on the weekly Tovala menu starting in December.

The announcement also make clear that Tovala won’t be shifting their model away from weekly delivery:

While Tovala sees a future where its customers will be able to receive meals in a variety of ways, it will not be moving into the on-demand delivery space today. The company will remain focused on its weekly delivery mode and on expanding its cooking app to allow customers to easily cook their own ingredients.

The deal is an interesting one for Tovala, a company that essentially combines two startups in one: a smart oven hardware manufacturer and a meal delivery startup. In a sense, it further underscores what appears to be a growing trend among cooking hardware startups to move deeper into food delivery as a way to garner monthly recurring revenue. Other startups doing this include Nomiku and FirstChop in the prepared sous vide space and Kitchenmate in the office worker market.

Tovala also announced some new pricing options with the news. The company said consumers can now buy a Tovala oven for $299  with a 4 meal box commitment and $199 with a 24 meal box commitment.

The full release is below:

Steam Oven & Meal Delivery Service Tovala Acquires Radish

Chicago, Illinois—Tovala announced today it has acquired Radish, a pioneer in on-demand food delivery. Radish launched in 2015 with a goal of making it easier for people to eat healthy food in the comfort of their own homes. Both companies share Chicago roots, a mission to make it easier for people to eat better, and a belief that convenient, healthy, dinner is still an unsolved problem.

The Tovala Steam Oven makes it easier to eat better by bringing chef-level cooking technology to your home—all easily controlled in the Tovala mobile app. Tovala also offers a premium meal delivery service that removes the pains of dinnertime prep and cleanup by delivering chef-prepared meals to customers’ doors every week. Those meals cook at the scan of a barcode in the Tovala Steam Oven.

Similar to Radish, Tovala Meals are nutritionally well-balanced, made from only clean ingredients, and feature unique, bold flavors, thanks to their chefs who have experience at Alinea, Noma, and Moto.

By acquiring Radish, Tovala will be able to benefit from all of the learnings that the Radish team gathered during their years in operation. The first immediate implication: Tovala customers should expect to see some of the most popular Radish dishes appear on the weekly Tovala menu starting in December. “I’m excited to share much of what we learned at Radish with the Tovala team — from our popular cauliflower mac n’ cheese to our unique operational know-how,” said Blake Bible, Radish co-founder and CEO.

While Tovala sees a future where its customers will be able to receive meals in a variety of ways, it will not be moving into the on-demand delivery space today. The company will remain focused on its weekly delivery mode and on expanding its cooking app to allow customers to easily cook their own ingredients.

As part of this acquisition announcement, starting today, Tovala is also rolling out new pricing plans, giving people additional ways to try Tovala. Customers now have the following three choices when purchasing:

– $399 for just the Steam Oven

– $299 for the Steam Oven plus a minimum of four meal boxes

– $199 for the Steam Oven plus a minimum of twenty-four meal boxes

Additionally, customers can pay for the Steam Oven over time for as low as $35/month. Every plan comes with a 180-day no-questions-asked return policy.

“As an early Radish customer, I was thrilled to get to know their co-founders, Blake and Joe, very well over the last year,” said David Rabie, co-founder and CEO of Tovala. “Their service and food solved a real problem for customers, so when they approached us about purchasing the company, it wasn’t a hard decision.”

“Our goals, and our food, have been aligned from day one, and we’re excited to be able to once again serve all the customers that found so much joy in Radish,” said Bible.

 

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