FrontRow, a community and hobby learning platform featuring celebrities in India, has shut down, learned and confirmed TechCrunch.
The three-year-old startup sought to create a community where well-known artists and athletes taught consumers their craft. The startup had raised around $18 million and counted Elevation Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Not Boring Capital among its backers.
Ishaan Preet Singh, co-founder of FrontRow, confirmed the development to TechCrunch, adding that the startup was exploring IP acquisition talks and the possibility of returning idle capital to investors.
FrontRow had grown from $3 million to $4 million in annualized revenue, but struggled to scale from there, Singh said. At this point, he said, it became clear that the business was not scalable. FrontRow cut most of its jobs last year and gave itself a few months to try some pivots.
In an earlier note, Singh said:
FrontRow went back to being a seed company last year starting in November, with about 35 people on the team as we ran several experiments to find PMF in the non-academic learning space. We conducted 3-4 experiments, including career-focused learning for adults and holistic offline development for children. Some of them, especially the offline room for children, are encouraging with a lot of love from users, but still very early.
We (founders and investors) had always set a June date to take a step back and reflect on the pilots we’re running and while we’ve made a ton of progress and have a positive CM (albeit on a very small scale), we have several conversations about what is the best place for the company, including whether the market is large enough to support an independent player or whether it is better suited to a large multi-category company. We’ll find out over the next two months. We have also kept the team updated and are helping some of them find other jobs if they wish. It’s not about capital or lead (we have over 3 years of lead), rather it’s about making sure that when you raise capital with the goal of building a large-scale business, you be honest about the feasibility of a particular market as you learn more.