This Mumbai entrepreneur’s startup brings ‘health-food-as-a-service’ to your doorstep
Millennial India has been swept by a health and fitness wave.
We might be one of the unhealthiest generations to date, given our sedentary lifestyles, lack of work-life balance, and other such things you hear on motivational videos. But, our efforts to stay fit — walking, running, hiking, swimming, Zumba, yoga, etc. — and adhere to the latest health and wellness trends are unparalleled.
Health food is one such trend that is now a Rs 10,352 crore market in India, according to Nielsen. And, it is growing at 10 percent each year.
Mumbai-based Ripsey (earlier known as Fresh Food Co.) was started in 2018 to tap into this growing segment, and cater to a fitness-conscious consumer class.
The health food tech startup was founded by second-time entrepreneur Silky Singh (who also serves as its CEO and CTO), who earlier ran a warehousing business.
Ripsey was born out of her “personal need” to get fit.
“The biggest challenge I faced was my inability to stick to a diet regime as it often got boring, and most diet plans needed supplementation via a range of multivitamins and protein powders,” Silky tells YourStory.
“That is when I realised that food is our primary source of nutrients, and we should rely on it to achieve our health goal. And it needs to be guided nutrition,” she says.
So, she launched a “full-stack solution” for healthy eating.
What is Ripsey and what it offers
Ripsey is a tech-led platform that plans meals for consumers in consultation with fitness experts, and nutritionists. It then gets its in-house chefs to prepare them at its central kitchen, and finally, delivers the meal box to the consumer’s doorstep.
Its healthy food menu consists of salads, sandwiches, wraps, juices, gluten-free and keto items, low-carb and high-protein meals, and various other combos.
The startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to track consumers' progress towards their health goals and recommend meal plans based on that. “We are not a food manufacturing company. We are a health-food-as-a-service startup, and your constant health goal partner,” Silky says.
Essentially, Ripsey uses technology to offer healthy, tasty, and affordable nutrition. In the future, it plans to become a more “robotic” meal recommendation platform.
The founder explains,
“We’re building new algorithms based on the consumer data and insights we’ve captured when we were Fresh Food Co., and delivering meals through Zomato and Swiggy. We will roll-out an app soon, and make the process of meal recommendations more automated.”
Platform features and subscription model
You start by choosing your health goal – fat loss, muscle gain, or keto. The subscription-led platform offers goal-specific meal plans to its users.
It plans your meals in accordance with your daily calorie intake and workout regime. Ripsey also takes into account any allergies you might have.
You have to enter your preferred meal slots (breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening snacks, all-day), preferred subscription plan (weekly, monthly), type of food (vegetarian, non-vegetarian, egg-vegetarian), and starting date.
An average weekly subscription costs Rs 750 to Rs 1,250 (depending on your health goals), while a monthly plan costs anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000.
“Sometimes we do standalone orders as well because that is fast-moving,” Silky reveals. “Subscriptions can be a bit slow, but they’re growing,” she says.
The startup claims to be delivering about 5,000 subscription orders a month, and 300-odd single orders daily. Users can also reschedule deliveries or cancel plans at any time.
Without sharing revenue numbers, the founder says Ripsey is growing at 175 percent month-on-month. “If you focus on product quality and provide a personal touch like we do through our nutritionists, customers are willing to pay a bit more,” Silky says.
Operations and growth plans
At present, the startup delivers only in Mumbai out of a single central kitchen. But in 2020, it plans to expand to three or four top metros and set up “at least” two central kitchens in every city it operates in.
Ripsey has raised Rs 1 crore in an undisclosed angel round, and is looking to close another round of Rs 2 crore shortly. The capital would go into launching the app this November, and expanding to other cities next year.
It has a team of 32 people including chefs, nutritionists, and fitness experts, besides the regular mix of startup employees.
Ripsey has also tied up with gyms, fitness studios, and apps like Fitternity to reach out to more customers and increase adoption.
“We’re doing events like Super Salad Days, Intermittent Fasting Diets, Raw Food Diets, High Fibre Detox Plans, and so on in partnership with these companies,” Silky says.
Ask the founder about how her platform plans to stand out in a crowded health food market, and she goes,
“The tech we are rolling out will stand out. Plus, we obsess about our clients and offer them a deeply personalised health service.”
One never knows, ‘health-food-as-a-service’ might just be the next big startup wave!
(Edited by Suman Singh)