Edtech startup FrontRow, which is set to launch on November 12 has raised $3.2 Mn in a seed funding round led by venture capital firms Lightspeed and Elevation (formerly SAIF Partners), along with Deepika Padukone’s Family Office.
Speaking to Inc42, Ishaan Preet Singh, cofounder of the skill development platform said, “With the fresh capital, we are planning to expand our courses. Currently, we have about eight courses and six more will be launched over the next couple of months. We want to significantly expand this catalogue, both in terms of categories and more courses in the same category. We also want to expand the community offerings, onboard more people, and add more community-specific features on the platform.”
The company, however, didn’t reveal specific details about the investments from each investor.
Singh further said that the FrontRow has about 20K people across platforms, who are part of the company’s communities, on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. “We aim to grow significantly in the next few months.”
FrontRow provides classes taught by the celebrities in the field, paired with a community platform that gives learners regular activities, competitions and peer engagement to practice and showcase their talent.
The company claims to have celebrities such as Neha Kakkar, Divine & Gully Gang, Suresh Raina, Amit Trivedi, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as its first set of instructors.
On its revenue model, Singh said that it has a subscription-based model. “The courses are currently priced at INR 500 and it will range in between INR 500 to 2000. It’s a one-time payment for accessing the recorded courses.”
Commenting on her investment Deepika Padukone shared, “Growing up, I wasn’t exactly academically inclined. My interests were in diverse spheres and activities outside of the traditional classroom- dance, sports, music, modelling & performance arts, to name a few. And if there’s one thing I wish I had access to while growing up, it would be a platform like ‘FrontRow’ – one that gives individuals access to abundant knowledge in non-academic fields as well as connects them to a community of peers and professionals in their field of interest. I’m glad that this gap in education has now been identified, and I look forward to partnering with this dynamic team on what I believe is going to be an exciting journey ahead.”
FrontRow competes with other firms like Celebrity School and Mento. “I think the biggest competitor really ends up being people learning on YouTube, and people learning from offline teachers,” Singh added.
Akshay Bhushan, Partner at Lightspeed said, “We’ve been early investors across these categories with Byju’s and Sharechat and believe that a solution needs to pick the best from all of them.”