Representation image of online learning. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)


  • FrontRow reportedly ceased operations on June 30
  • The edtech startup laid off nearly 90% of its workforce last year
  • India's edtech space has seen multiple layoffs in recent months

Hobby-learning startup FrontRow in India has shut down following difficulties in finding a product market, a new report revealed. The Indian edtech company previously laid off nearly 90% of its workforce last year.

Sources told Entrackr that FrontRow previously held talks with other edtech companies for potential acquisition to no avail and the company is also returning around $2.5 million to investors. The Bengaluru-based company shut down operations on June 30, as per MoneyControl.

"We are still exploring potential acquisitions of the IP/team etc but also deciding whether it just makes more sense to return the capital and will decide that with the board in the next couple of months," FrontRow co-founder Inshaan Preet Singh told the Entrackr.

Entrackr previously reported that FrontRow was in talks with several players to consolidate "as it sees no future in running alone." A source told the outlet in June that the platform may shut down if acquisition talks fall apart.

The edtech startup raised more than $17 million in two rounds from Elevation Capital, Not Boring Capital, actress Deepika Padukone's family office, and Lightspeed Venture Partners among others, but it struggled to scale up from annualized revenue of $3 million to $4 million, as per TechCrunch.

In 2021, Singh and co-founder Mikhil Raj told Forbes India in a "30 Under 30" feature that the goal for FrontRow was to become "the daily destination for 10 million people in India." The platform was designed to have users learn non-academic skills from celebrities and athletes.

Among the influential stars and athletes featured on FrontRow's website are Indian playback singer Neha Kakkar, famous dancer and choreographer Melvin Louis, music director Amit Trivedi, cricketer Suresh Raina, and rapper Raftaar.

FrontRow laid off nearly 90% of its workforce across two phases in 2022, leaving the company with around 40 employees. The company has also reportedly told its retained staff to start looking for jobs.

FrontRow isn't the only edtech startup to have shut down this year, as DUX Education also halted operations in April due to the funding crunch in India's startup space.

Late last year, Amazon revealed that it was shutting down its edtech offering in India called Amazon Academy. Operations are expected to cease starting next month, multiple outlets reported. Reports cited sources as saying that around 25 employees working on the project were absorbed by the e-commerce giant.

It appears that India's edtech industry is struggling as it has seen a string of layoffs in recent months.

Last month, India's most valued startup, edtech giant Byju's, reportedly cut up to a thousand employees across various departments, including marketing and product teams. The company reportedly cut 1,000 staff in a February layoff round that affected communications and engineering units.

In March, Unacademy slashed around 350 jobs after a November 2022 layoffs round that saw another 350 employees departing. Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal told TechCrunch that the edtech startup took "every step in the right decision" to make the business profitable "yet it's not enough."

Also in March, edtech unicorn upGrad eliminated nearly 30% of its workforce at its Impartus Innovations arm, affecting 120 employees. The layoffs followed an earlier round of cuts at another upGrad subsidiary, Harappa, that saw around 60 employees losing their jobs.