Tovala’s ambitious plan to combine a smart oven with a curated meal delivery service just got some validation in the form of a new seed funding round.
The company, which was one of 15 startups for the Smart Kitchen Summit’s startup showcase, announced a seed round raise of $1.6 million from Origin Ventures, which is the VC firm’s second investment in the company after dropping $500 thousand into Tovala in a pre-seed investment early in 2016. The company also garnered $255 thousand on Kickstarter earlier this year.
Given how ambitious Tovala’s product vision is, they’ll need every penny. The Tovala smart oven is essentially a consumer-priced combi-oven which combines bake, broil, convenction and steam heating. The “smart” part includes a barcode scanner that automatically programs the cook based on pre-programmed guidance. The ‘auto-pilot’ cooking will be applied for the curated meals through Tovala’s own meal delivery service.
The meal service itself is Tovala’s biggest differentiator and also likely its biggest challenge. The company expects to launch a meal delivery service alongside the oven, an audacious plan given the struggles of food delivery startups. While Tovala CEO David Rabie indicated on an interview on the Smart Kitchen Show that he would be open to partnering with others meal delivery services, the company is definitely intent – for now – to come to market with their own.
The price for this Swiss army knife of an oven is $289 for pre-order, and the company expects to deliver them to backers by spring of 2017.