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Tovala Nabs $20M Series B Funding

2020-06-02
CHICAGO, IL, Tovala announces the close of a $20M Series B funding.
Tovala, the time-saving meal service and countertop smart oven that scans, steams, broils and bakes chef-crafted meals, announces the close of a $20M Series B funding round led by Finistere Ventures, an agrifood venture pioneer, with participation from new investors Comcast Ventures, OurCrowd and Rich Products Ventures. Previous Tovala investors Origin Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Crate & Barrel Founder Gordon Segal, New Stack Ventures and the University of Chicago also participated in the round.

Tovala will leverage the funding to fuel rapid growth, expand production capabilities and grow the team, enabling the brand to scale its fresh meal service and tech-driven countertop oven to reach new customers nationwide.

Launched in 2017, Tovala solves the dinner dilemma by providing fresh, scan-to-cook meals without the time commitment or prep typically involved. The WiFi-connected countertop oven steams, bakes and broils based on a custom QR code, expertly cooking each individual meal. Unlike reheated dishes, Tovala delivers on the experience of a home-cooked meal without compromising freshness, taste or texture.

The brand's unprecedented rise from an early Kickstarter campaign to an emerging leader in meal delivery illustrates the company's ability to innovate and fulfill customer needs. During a time of economic downturn, Tovala is experiencing accelerated growth and dramatically boosting its subscriber base.

Tovala highlights include:

-Annualized revenue increased by 300 percent since September 2019
-Subscribers grew by more than 20 percent since shelter-in-place began mid-March
-One million+ meals shipped
-Retention, on average, five times greater than other subscription meal delivery services
-Retention after one year greater than most meal kit and prepared food services after two months
-Customers who engage with product and service an average of 32 times per month

"Tovala delivers on the promise of a home-cooked meal without any of the work involved in getting a delicious, hot meal on the table. We fill a void for customers who crave convenience without sacrificing quality," said Tovala CEO David Rabie. "We're excited to partner with Finistere Ventures to propel our business forward and bring Tovala to more people."

Finistere Ventures has supported notable companies in the space including Farmer's Fridge, Memphis Meats and Plenty, and has strong relationships with top players in the food & beverage supply chain. Committed to driving a healthier, more sustainable food and ag ecosystem, Finistere will work closely with the Tovala team to expand its reach across the United States.

"Tovala uniquely sits at the intersection of trends in the smart home and meal kit spaces: Meals enabled by an automated device, delivering convenience without compromise. We recognize Tovala's potential to own the kitchen countertop and look forward to being part of their expansion journey as we increase our investment in the food space," said Arama Kukutai, co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures. "Tovala demonstrated substantive growth and industry-leading retention even before the current shift in consumer food delivery models, and we think the company is poised to lead the reinvention of the food delivery market as it matures."

In 2019, Tovala introduced a new Scan-to-Cook feature that allows its smart ovens to scan the barcode on 750+ brand-name grocery items to perfectly cook them without preheating, making its technology even more versatile. Additionally, in partnership with LG, Tovala embedded its Scan-to-Cook technology in LG smart ovens as part of LG's Connected Home initiative.

Tovala also collaborated with Beyond Meat and celebrity Chef Graham Elliot for limited-time Tovala Meal offerings, as well as expanded distribution by selling on QVC. For additional information, please visit www.tovala.com.

About Tovala:

Tovala was born from a mission to reinvent home cooking to save people time. Launched in 2017 by passionate culinary-tech duo David Rabie and Bryan Wilcox, Tovala's fresh, chef-crafted meals and smart oven work together to let customers enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal without the work. Each meal requires one minute of prep time before it's scanned and cooked perfectly in the Tovala Smart Oven in 20 minutes or less.

With 5 different cooking functions (steam, bake, broil, toast, reheat) and the ability to scan-to-cook 750+ brand-name grocery items from brands like Kashi and Amy's, the Tovala Smart Oven's versatility extends beyond just cooking Tovala Meals. Learn more and purchase at Tovala.com. Follow @tovalafood on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for time-saving inspiration in the kitchen.

About Finistere Ventures:

Finistere Ventures is a leading global agrifood technology and life sciences venture capital investor with offices in Palo Alto, San Diego, Ireland, Israel and New Zealand. Its team has developed and invested in some of the most successful agrifood tech companies of the last 20 years-building and backing companies worth more than $5 billion. Visit Finistere.com.
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