Investment

Deal of the Week: A smart food platform attracts further family capital

A Chicago-based food and smart oven platform has attracted funding from a group of family offices and institutions betting on a novel way to supplying high-end meals for time-poor consumers. 

Pritzker Group Venture Capital, part of the Pritzker Group, which is owned by J.B. Pritzker, together with Gordon Segal, most likely through his family office, Prairie Management Group, have invested in Chicago-based Tovala, which has developed a smart oven and a companion meal delivery service. 

The two investors joined seven other mostly Chicago-based institutional investors with a Series B investment worth $20 million – Tovala’s biggest capital injection to date. Set up in 2015, Tovala has attracted $38.6 million of known funding so far, with the Pritzker Group also backing the company in a Series A round in December 2017. 

Institutional investors have included Tyson Foods, Origin Ventures, and Y Combinator.  Angel investors included Patrick Cadariu, a Google technologist behind the group’s self-driving cars, Michael Staenberg, a commercial real estate developer, and Mark Tebbe, a business academic. 

Tovala has developed a smart oven, which uses what it calls “scan-to-cook” technology to cook chef-quality meals. It says it has sold more than one million meals connected to its technology since it was founded.  

 

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