Splashstar Technologies, which operates e-learning platform FrontRow, on Wednesday said that it has raised $3.2 million in a funding round led by private equity firms Lightspeed and Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners).
Actress Deepika Padukone’s family office, KA Enterprises, also invested in the round, as per a statement.
The fresh capital will be used to add more courses and categories to the platform, expand community offerings and go deeper into various course formats, the statement said.
The Bengaluru-based company offers sports and creative arts classes taught by celebrities, paired with a community platform that gives learners regular activities, competitions and peer engagement to practice and showcase talent.
The 20-member company was founded in 2019 by former Lightspeed executive Ishaan Preet Singh with former assistant vice president of product at ZestMoney Mikhil Raj and former vice president of engineering at GlowRoad Shubhadit Sharma.
There is a massive demand for learning in non-academic fields, Singh said, adding that there are over 26 million people who already pay to learn in these categories.
“There is little to no structured curriculum available, the entire teaching market is unorganised and the quality of resources available for learning is very low. In fact, the decades of learnings amassed by the best singers, cricketers or writers is often inaccessible to most learners,” the statement said.
FrontRow’s first set of instructors includes industry stalwarts such as Neha Kakkar, DIVINE & Gully Gang, Suresh Raina, Amit Trivedi, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the statement added.
“We’ve known this team for years and are extremely excited to back a team building a new paradigm for learning – a cross between learning, entertainment and community. 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,” Lightspeed partner Akshay Bhushan said.
“We love companies that discover a problem that’s massive but just hidden below the surface and this is exactly what FrontRow has found… Once we spoke to Frontrow’s early users, we saw similar potential, and the need for a platform like this became very clear,” Elevation Capital partner Mayank Khanduja added.