The education sector saw a huge shift towards online post-pandemic, yet, many students continued to forgo extracurricular activities. Founded in 2020 by Shubhadit Sharma, Mikhil Raj and Ishaan Preet Singh, FrontRow is addressing the market for extracurricular activities with courses on gaming, music creation, singing, rap, comedy, and playing cricket from Indian celebrities.
The non-academic edtech startup has now raised $14 Mn in a Series A round led by Eight Roads Ventures, GSV, and existing investors Lightspeed and Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from angel investors including singer Vishal Dadlani, rapper Raftaar, CRED’s Kunal Shah, Unacademy’s Gaurav Munjal and ShareChat’s Farid Ahsan among others.
Currently available in 7 categories, the startup plans to use the funds to scale to 10+ categories and 300+ courses by 2022. The startup will also invest in its team and product. “We launched Front Row with a simple core belief – pursuing your passion is a fundamental human need. Our goal is to help you learn in the best way possible, across categories and mediums. The next decade will see new paradigms of learning, built online first, and better than offline! For this, we’re building a new model of community and cohort led learning that is a fundamental evolution of edtech,” cofounder Ishaan Preet Singh stated.
The startup, launched only 9 months ago, claims to have 50K+ paid learners across 2000+ cities worldwide. FrontRow has earlier raised a $3.2 Mn seed round led by Lightspeed, Elevation and Deepika Padukone’s Family Office.
FrontRow offers courses taught by Indian celebrities such as Amit Trivedi, Neha Kakkar, DIVINE, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Suresh Raina and 100+ live courses taught by influencers and experts for learners to go deeper in their field. The courses are currently priced between INR 500 and INR 2000; a one-time payment system for accessing the recorded courses for a lifetime.
FrontRow competes with other firms like Celebrity School, Kyt and Mento.
Edtech has always been pegged as a great equaliser that could deliver access to good education in remote areas. According to Inc42 Plus analysis, the market size of edtech in India is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years, from $2.8 Bn (2020) to $10.4 Bn (2025).