Tovala selected to join Endeavor as Chicago-based David Rabie looks to leverage the globally renowned organization’s peer, mentor and capital partner network.
Endeavor today announced Tovala Co-Founder and CEO, David Rabie, has been selected to join its Great Lakes portfolio of entrepreneurs. Rabie was selected at Endeavor’s 94th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Costa Navarino, Greece. The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate the potential to leverage Endeavor’s resources to create large-scale wealth and jobs and who are committed to reinvesting in their local entrepreneurship ecosystems.
Rabie co-founded Tovala to reinvent home cooking to save people time. By combining a smart oven with a fresh meal delivery service, Tovala seeks to make mealtime effortless. Tovala offers a rotating weekly menu of 20+ chef-crafted meals on its platform that typically cook from scratch in 20 minutes or less. Through an innovative combination of hardware, software, and food, the company offers a wifi-connected smart-oven with a variety of cooking methods that makes preparing food as simple as scanning a barcode. With over $100M in capital raised and 10 million meals served, Tovala seeks to change the way that everyone from busy professionals to empty nesters enjoy a home-cooked meal.
“We are thrilled to welcome David into our portfolio of entrepreneurs,” said Diana Callaghan, Managing Director of Endeavor’s Great Lakes region. “This selection panel demonstrated what we already know: that category disruptors and many of the most influential high-growth companies are coming out of our region. David and his team have built one of the fastest growing companies and most recognizable brands. We are thrilled to work with him as he takes his already tremendously successful company to the next level.”
Tovala launched in 2017 when David entered UChicago’s prestigious New Venture Challenge and won first prize. Building on this success, David participated in Y Combinator and launched a Kickstarter campaign that was fully funded in under 24 hours, and from 2019 to 2020, the company achieved 3x growth. Despite persistent food shortages and other pandemic related challenges, Tovala has continued to evolve and grow. In 2021, the company doubled its revenue, raised a large Series C round, opened a 230,000 sq. ft facility in Utah, and created hundreds of jobs in the Midwest. In the same year it was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
“I’m so happy I decided to go through the selection process,” said Tovala Co-Founder and CEO David Rabie. “The work the Endeavor Team did even pre-selection to help me think about my business and the fundraising process made such an impact and really showed me the value of what this organization can bring to a founder who’s scaling their company. After spending three days with this incredible group of diverse peers and mentors at the ISP, I am especially excited to join Endeavor’s global network. It feels really special.”
As part of Endeavor’s portfolio, selected entrepreneurs gain access to an unrivaled global peer network of founders and customized global support services including introductions to local and international business leaders, investors and mentors. Rabie will work with the Endeavor team to tap into the organization’s resources around the world, and ensure the company is well-positioned to unlock its next level of scale. As an Endeavor Entrepreneur, Rabie also commits to pay it forward to future high-growth entrepreneurs in the Great Lakes region through mentorship and other support.
Endeavor works with founders of “scaleups,” or fast-growing companies that are past the startup phase. Decades of research on thriving cities around the world have found that scaleups have an outsized impact on growing economies, and that mentorship and connections made by successful entrepreneurs are critical to the success of up-and-coming scaleup founders. Endeavor works closely with scaleup founders to create bespoke, demand-driven service plans to support them wherever they are on their entrepreneurial journeys and prepares them to advise and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Tovala’s selection marks Endeavor’s continued expansion into Chicago, which began in 2021 with the addition of Cameo Co-Founders Steven Galanis and Devon Townsend. In addition to Chicago-based Cameo, Endeavor’s Great Lakes portfolio includes founders who have secured some of the largest deals in the Midwest including Workit Health ($118 million Series C, 2021), Benzinga (acquired for $300 million, 2021) and SkySpecs ($80 million Series D, 2022).
“The recent momentum of Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is astounding. As this landscape continues to advance, so too must the support system for high-growth, later-stage founders, especially those who are looking to connect to global peers, mentors, investors, and markets. Given Endeavor’s 25-year history of experience, and now with over 2,300 entrepreneurs across our 41 markets, we believe we can be a valuable resource for our region’s founders. We are excited to be helping more entrepreneurs across the Great Lakes to dream bigger, scale up and pay it forward.”
Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects, mentors and provides customized support services to entrepreneurs leading companies with the most potential to create economic impact. Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently has 500+ staff members that operate in 41 growth markets and 65 cities throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Referred to as “the best anti-poverty program of all” by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Thomas Friedman, Endeavor now supports 2,355 entrepreneurs leading 1,460 companies around the world, including the first $1B valued companies to come out of 12 countries. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created more than 3.4 million jobs, generated combined revenues of over $42B, and helped build sustainable growth models in their home countries. Endeavor’s global board members include Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Managing Partner at Accretive LLC and former CEO of Warner Music Group, and U2’s The Edge.