Leading learning and community platform, FrontRow has secured an undisclosed amount from music tycoon Raftaar and entertainment and music conglomerate AK Projekts, the fundraise coming six months after the firm secured seed funding of $3.2 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners) and global Indian icon, Deepika Padukone.
The non-academic skill development platform that was founded by serial entrepreneurs Mikhil Raj, Shubhadit Sharma, and Ishaan Preet Singh in 2020 intends to utilise the fresh investment towards the diversification of courses and community offerings, expansion into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, promotion of burgeoning talent and implementation of global alliances. Currently based in Mumbai and Bengaluru, the organisation which employs a 25-member team aims to branch out to different locations within India and overseas by 2022.
FrontRow has assumed the distinct reputation of becoming a forerunner within the non-academic segment within a short span of time. The platform follows a subscription-based model and currently offers courses priced INR 1,000/- upwards for lifetime access. Each course is broken into 20-25 lessons odd sections and the platform has forged creative alliances with Neha Kakkar, DIVINE, Suresh Raina, Amit Trivedi, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Raju Srivastava, Sunburn, MortaL, and 8bit Thug in the past. The bespoke masterclasses are crafted with a vision to assist students to hone their passion and aptitude under the expert guidance and mentorship from industry pioneers from the field of music, comedy, and cricket. The interactive courses are developed over months of focussed devising with the celebrity instructors and using high tech production quality and currently find an audience with over 500,000 users.
Reflecting on the development Mikhil Raj, Co-Founder, FrontRow says, "We are excited to join hands with Raftaar on the mission of democratising access to learning with partnerships with some of the industry's finest peers and experts at an affordable price from the comfort of your home. Last year was exciting for us as we launched more than 10 courses with more than 500,000+ users on our platform. We aim to grow by 500% in the coming few quarters with an additional 10 more courses. Over last year we have learnt that creative and athletic arts are not just hobbies but crucial part of identities of our users and infact of 99% of Indians. We are aggressively trying to expand our offerings not only in quantity but also in quality. We continue to aspire to make learning accessible, easier and enjoyable at FrontRow with partnerships like these.”.
Commenting further Raftaar states, "I am very excited to be joining forces with the stellar crew at FrontRow and see how I can add value in fostering the culture of non-academic education across India. In my teenage years I was always motivated by the creative arts and felt like a misfit in the conventional educational set-up. I have always believed there is more to life than traditional degrees and textbook knowledge and skill development deserves its’ spotlight now, more than ever. Whilst interacting with young minds during my tours in different cities, I realised that rural India has alternate passions, most of which it cannot pursue. The students would come up to me and talk about their acting, singing, and filmmaking dreams. They didn’t want to do engineering, IT or medical. But they had limited avenues because they weren’t in Mumbai or New Delhi. I want to make non-academic learning accessible and affordable for small-town Indians and hope to do so as I embark on this new journey. A big shout out to my partner, Ankit Khanna for making this happen.”
Adding on Ankit Khanna, Founder, AK Projekts elaborates, "We are extremely bullish on the opportunity presented in the celebrity-driven vocational training platform segment in India. We believe there is huge merit and scope in this business that allows a wide section of people to have access to leaders from their respective fields and to learn from them directly. We are excited to support a new archetype for learning—an assortment of education, entertainment and community."
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