Indian online education startup FrontRow that offers arts and sports classes taught by celebrities said Wednesday it has raised USD 3.2 million of seed funding from Lightspeed, Elevation Capital (previously SAIF Partners), and the family office of Indian actress Deepika Padukone.
Founded by Mikhil Raj, Shubhadit Sharma, and Ishaan Preet Singh, three veterans from the local startup sector, earlier this year, FrontRow has onboarded celebrity instructors from the fields of film, stand-up comedy, and cricket. Currently, in the beta stage, the company claimed it has “tens of thousands” of users.
Before starting FrontRow, all three founders have spent their fair share of time in the Indian startup ecosystem. While Raj sold his startup Photograph AI in 2018 to fintech company ZestMoney, Sharma was vice-president of the engineering department at social commerce startup Glow Road. Singh led investments at Lightspeed.
FrontRow said its platform will enable learners to soak up the treasure trove of knowledge that professional talents have amassed which has otherwise always been inaccessible.
“A big part of learning is interacting with peers and mentors like we did in school and college, which is even more important in non-academic fields. Typically, these happen offline, on a cricket ground or in comedy clubs, but the vast majority of people don’t have access to these,” said Sharma, co-founder, FrontRow.
The company said it would use the fresh funding to add more courses and categories and go deeper into various course formats.
“We love companies that discover a problem that’s massive but just hidden below the surface and this is exactly what FrontRow has found. Our past investments in the education, social, and creator space such as Unacademy, Sharechat, and CampK12 have made us extremely bullish on the opportunity to create large learning and community platforms in India,” said Mayank Khanduja, Partner at Elevation Capital.