Tech roundup: Tovala launches smart oven, Forbes honors Chicago cloud companies and more

July 13, 2017

Tovala officially launches smart oven, food delivery service

On Tuesday, Tovala officially put its smart oven up for sale. The tech-savvy appliance retails for $399, with purchasers required to sign up for a weekly meal subscription plan. Both the $36 and $72 plans include three meals, but the pricier option comes as a double serving. The oven receives cooking instructions from a QR code printed on each pre-packaged meal. Consumers can also use the accompanying app to cook their own meals by programming the cooking style, temperature and time.


Chicago companies land on Forbes 2017 Cloud 100

SMS Assist came in at 33rd on the recently released Forbes 2017 Cloud 100. The list of the top private cloud companies from around the world began in 2016, and SMS Assist has been featured on it both times. In a statement to Forbes, CEO Taylor Rhodes said the company was “honored and humbled to be recognized among the outstanding companies on the Cloud 100 list for the second year in a row.” [Business Wire]

Uptake is a newcomer to the Cloud 100 and is ranked 22nd. The data analytics startup has been on a roll this summer. The spot on the Forbes Cloud 100 comes a few months after it locked down an additional $50 million to bring its total Series B funding haul to $90 million. [Uptake Blog]


Signal’s new office helps support local artists

Signal shared details and photos of its new 27,000 square-foot office space located in the Builder’s Building. Unique to Signal’s 16th floor space is a rotating art exhibit featuring works from local artists. The 10 pieces that adorn the office’s walls all are for sale, and each collection is meant to reflect the company’s core values and philosophy. New installations will be rotated in every two months. [Built In Chicago]


Common opens coliving space in Ukrainian Village

“Coliving” startup Common announced the opening of Common Damen on Wednesday. The four-story property in Ukrainian Village is the company’s first coliving space in Chicago. The fully furnished property is made up of 12 bedrooms spread across three “suites.” Common Damen is also outfitted with several community spaces designed for lounging or hosting member-led events. Those looking to live in a Common property must apply online and go through a screening process. The company is planning to open two more Chicago properties by the end of 2017. [Common Blog]


Esquify plans to continue its rapid growth with fresh seed funding

Esquify, a startup using machine learning to make legal document review more efficient, revealed a $710,000 seed round on Wednesday. The seed round brings the company’s total funds raised to $1.25 million. Esquify’s tech works with existing eDiscovery platforms and monitors the company’s team of remote reviewers to ensure efficiency. All reviewers are barred and vetted contract attorneys who can be rated after each job. [Esquify Blog]


Tech companies make a flurry of high-level hires

Morningstar announced that Jason Dubinsky will become its new CFO effective July 24. Dubinsky brings two decades of financial and operating experience to the fintech company. His most recent position was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. [Press Release]

Arend Henderson is the new senior vice president of analytics at PowerReviews. Henderson’s new office is a short walk away from his previous digs at Conservant, where he served as the company’s vice president of business intelligence. [Business Wire]

Leo Brubaker, formerly Centro’s COO, has joined Uptake, where he’ll step into the role of chief commercial officer. Brubaker shared his excitement about joining Uptake with Crain’s: "It's moving at a million miles an hour. The pipeline is tremendous. We have to scale and grow it in a way that doesn't break the machine." [Crain’s]

SPINS added two new members to its executive team. Peter V.S. Bond, previously at CVS Health, has been named the new vice president of consumer activation. Brian Gillis has a long history working in consumer packaged goods and will become the company’s executive vice president of retail. [Press Release]


Images via listed companies, social media, and Shutterstock

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