Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., through its corporate venture subsidiary Tyson Ventures, invested in Tovala, a Chicago-based food startup that manufacturers smart countertop steam ovens with fresh ready-to-cook meals.

Tyson Ventures joins a group of investors, including Origin Ventures, the Pritzker Group, startup incubator Y Combinator, Morningstar Inc. founder Joe Mansueto and restaurant entrepreneur Larry Levy in Tovala’s recently closed and announced Series A round of funding. The capital raised will be used to support Tovala’s growth, including adding staff across all departments, geographic expansion and investment in product, operations, technology and marketing.

“Our venture capital fund was created to invest in promising entrepreneurs who are on the cutting edge of innovation in the food industry,” says Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “Our investment in Tovala gives us another opportunity to explore new ways of meeting consumer demand and shape the future of food. We look forward to our collaboration.”

“Our mission is to make it easier for busy people to eat better at home. By controlling the experience end-to-end, including the hardware, software and food, our customers benefit by not having to sacrifice convenience, health or taste,” says David Rabie, co-founder and CEO of Tovala. “We’re excited to work with Tyson Foods to explore bringing a wider variety of meals to our customers' homes."