As FrontRow Shuts Down, Founders Are Returning The Investor Funding

Hemant Kumar

FrontRow Returns Investor Funding after Shutting Down Operations

FrontRow, a hobby learning startup that was shut down in July this year, returns the remaining capital to the investors. Ishan Preet Singh, co-founder of the company, reflected on the journey of FrontRow in a detailed post on LinkedIn.

The four-year-old startup sought to build a learning platform where well-known artists and celebrities taught their craft to people. FrontRow had raised about $18 million from VCs like Elevation Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Not Boring Capital.

They partnered with many popular celebrities like Neha Kakkar, Amit Trivedi, Divine, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and many other artists to launch online courses on singing, composing, rapping, comedy, cricket and many other hobbies.

In 4 years, we helped millions get better at their passion— 2.1 million people downloaded the FrontRow app, 270K people enrolled for a paid course and over 100K learners attended a live class,” said Singh on his social media post.

Despite all these successes, they ceased operations in July 2023 as the co-founders learnt that the market for hobby learning was way smaller than they believed which was unlikely to support a venture-scale business.

FrontRow, founded in 2017 by Mikhil Raj, Ishan Preet Singh and Shubhadit Sharma, had scaled to $3 million to $4 million of annualized revenue but struggled to scale from there. Now they are returning the remaining capital to the investors, and are exploring IP acquisition talks after shutting down the startup.

Ishan Preet Singh and Mikhil Raj, Co-founders of FrontRow

A hard pivot was also an option. We had enough capital for a large seed, and our investors were supportive but I really felt it was set up for failure,” shared Ishan Preet Singh being emotional about his journey. He also shared some important learnings on entrepreneurship that he learned throughout the journey of FrontRow.

Only build a company when you really believe in the market,” is one of the biggest takeaways that Singh shared from his startup journey. He added, “Only build a business when you’re sure you want to spend at least 5 years in the market, even if shit keeps hitting the fan repeatedly. When everything goes wrong, and believe me at some point it will feel like it has, the market is what you hold on to.

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