Content, community driving Sortizy’s culinary ecosystem

Sortizy is a social commerce platform that gives content for healthy food recipes to its customers as per their choice, dietary needs and schedules. This app helps the users in making conscious food decisions to a healthier future by providing assistance with recipes, dietary planning and grocery shopping. Four youngsters – Sagthi Prakash, Surbhi Guha, Nitin Gupta and Akshay Gupta – collaborated with notable brands and home chefs to create a culinary ecosystem. In an exclusive interview with Bizz Buzz, Sortizy Co-founder Surbhi Guha explains how their all-in-one app delivers food products and ingredients, without compromising on taste and diet.

How was Sortizy established during the pandemic period? How was the response?

I can’t eat the same food every day. I have no idea how to keep up with my choices. After shifting to a new city for our jobs, we were struggling to eat the food of our choice. Having found no help to get my queries resolved, I left my good-paying job to create a solution. We have participated in startup meet-ups, interacted with industry experts and mentors.

We had a breakthrough when we were selected for a grant at i-TIC incubation IIT Hyderabad by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to develop the initial solution. We built a team of graduates from top colleges with experience in software development, product management and design to launch our app on Google Play Store.

Our startup journey was full of ups and downs amidst the pandemic – health issues in family, lockdowns, no salaries, finding co-founders, convincing tech folks to stay and high opportunity costs. But, I was filled with passion and determination to enable 45 crore millennials having limited prior knowledge and experience to connect better with food.

The response has been great by our users. We are grateful for the recognition as well. We were the first startup to be selected by ARHA Media for the revolving funds. We have got recognitions from Google Play India and won the User’s Choice award and the ‘Best App in Everyday Essentials 2021’ category.

We have been recognized as the rising stars of India in July 2021 edition and have been featured in the Global Diwali 2022 campaign as one of the top 5 apps in ‘order or cook food’ with the likes of notable food startups – Swiggy, Zomato and Dineout.

How is the support from WeHub?

WeHub, India’s first and only State-led incubator to promote entrepreneurial skills among women, has supported us in all aspects since our initial days in terms of mentorship, connecting with key opinion leaders, getting funds, and being our go-to support in case of any queries.

WeHub’s team has worked very hard for the benefits of the budding startups like ours. The facilities, mentorship and the support system are good to bolster startups. The incubator has also given us an opportunity in association with ARHA Media by selecting us for the revolving funds at the launch of Tamannah Bhatia’s web series – 11th Hour.

How many downloads has Sortizy app witnessed so far? What is the current number of registered users and average number of queries a day? What is the target ahead?

Sortizy has got more than 1.3 lakh downloads so far since the launch in May 2021 on Google Play Store and iOS. There are over 12,000 clickable photos, short videos, and detailed recipes published by the users. With more than 5 lakh views on short videos and 3 lakh recipe searches, users love the personalized experience on the platform.

The app has smart search filters where the users can easily find what to make with broccoli in just half-an-hour and which is less than 250 calories. There are 1.2 lakh dishes and notes added by 10,000+ unique users in all meal plans. We are continuously making these illustrative guides in major Indian languages. Users have spent about 2 lakh hours so far cooking with our guides. We are targeting to reach 12 lakh users by the end of 2023.

What is the team size at the moment? How many homemakers and chef partners are there on your platform from India and abroad? Are you going to expand further?

We are a team of 10 food enthusiasts currently working at Sortizy. There are 500+ creators and chef partners who are publishing their recipes, experiences, learnings and product recommendations on the platform from across 15+ different countries including USA, UAE and Germany. We have partners from Kerala to Punjab and Goa to Assam. We are soon opening up the photo sharing option so that users can upload photos and inspire each other with the question of “what to eat for dinner”? Anyone can now create an account on the Sortizy app and create their food social profile. We have got an interest from 2,500 users to publish content during our beta testing.

How is your platform helping housewives in earning income?

Sortizy is supporting the budding food creators to publish multiple formats of food content at one place. We inspire everyone to connect better with food. They are making their brand and earning well. We are also connecting creators with our brand partners to make content. We have formulated a unique earning model where creators are earning as we share a part of our revenue when the product purchase happens through their videos and recipes.

Who is taking care of the logistics cost? Are you looking for any tie-ups in this space?

This is work in progress. We have recently launched Sortizy commerce with our brand partners. We are giving an option of self-shipment to our partners and have also associated with a third-party delivery service provider.

What is the revenue model of Sortizy?

Our revenue model is only from the B2B side where we are charging the commissions for the product sales from our brand partners. We are also planning to incorporate with the quick commerce and the grocery delivery businesses to help users get their meal plan ingredients and the recipe ingredients delivered fast. In the near future, we will open up the subscriptions and the premium features for our super-users to make the best use of the platform.

How did you utilize the recently raised funds ($100,000)? Are there any further fundraising plans in the near future?

We were at 30,000 downloads, available only on android, five brand partners and 100 creators in our community. Post funding, we stand at 1.3 lakh downloads, available on android and iOS with the latest flutter technology, 300 brand partners and 500+ creators in our community.

We have kept our team lean and prioritized features to make the platform better. We are constantly working towards improving retention and incorporating user feedback. It is a journey and a constant process for us to improve the platform and work towards our vision of connecting 450 million Indian millennials and Gen Z to connect better with food. We are approaching soon towards the next round of fundraising to accelerate our growth.

(This is the fourth interview of WTC Shamshabad- WE Hub Startup Series, a collaborative effort of World Trade Center – Shamshabad and WE Hub, the incubator for women-led startups, to showcase startups founded by women entrepreneurs)

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