Tovala (YC W16) Helps You Cook Perfect Meals With Its Countertop Smart Oven

by Alexis Ohanian3/15/2016

Whether you’re constantly busy, on the go, or just don’t feel like cooking, eating healthy can become a hassle. Takeout doesn’t give you any control over ingredients or portion sizes, and meal delivery plans can be unexpectedly time consuming in preparation and cleanup. 

Tovala is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that allows you to enjoy home cooked meals  using its smart oven and food delivery plan. All you have to do is choose a meal on the app, scan the barcode when it arrives, and just sit back while it cooks. And better yet, you’re left with no dirty dishes.  

Sarah Buhr wrote about Tovala recently in a story on TechCrunch:

“Tovala is a new startup out of Y Combinator that came up with what they hope to be a less expensive alternative to professional combination ovens. The Tovala is a smart oven that can bake, boil and steam meals at up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 to 30 minutes.

The meals come prepackaged from Tovala or can be made using a crowdsourced recipe platform.

Tovala utilizes a combination of dry and wet heat cooking technology instead of microwave technology to quickly cook food and get the right overall temperature for each meal. You can cook several different types of foods such as chicken, rice and asparagus in the same unit at the same time, for example, using Tovala’s technique.”

Alex Konrad from Forbes also wrote about Tovala in a story:

“In practice, it looks part Jetsons, part Easy-Bake Oven for millennials. “You’re probably the 200th person to make that comparison,” says Rabie, Tovala’s cofounder and CEO.

The technology behind Tovala isn’t science fiction, Rabie says, nor is it a toy. The hardware, manufactured in China, uses cooking methods that already existed in commercial kitchens, which pay tens of thousands of dollars for large, low-tech versions of Tovala’s hardware already. What’s new is that the startup designed software to scan and process each meal automatically, with a network of chefs behind its meals.”

Tim Moynihan from Wired also gave it a try and wrote about his experience:

“We started with Beef Wellington and a side of carrots and roasted garlic—a 18-minute cook time—and it had the balance of juicy meat and crusty goodness down pat. The beef was cooked to medium, warm in the middle, juicy and flavorful and tasty. The pastry was flaky and sog-free, and the carrots were tender without being mushy. Nailed it.

Our second course of herb-stuffed chicken with a side of asparagus was a revelation: Juicy, delicious bird with great seasoning. Restaurant-quality good.”

You can also learn more about Tovala through their Kickstarter campaign.


  • Alexis Ohanian