Edtech Co-founder Ishaan Preet Singh Transitions to Venture Capital

Preeti Bali / 10:45 am / May 10, 2024

Struggling edtech startup FrontRow’s co-creator Ishaan Preet Singh has returned to the realm of venture capital (VC) by rejoining Lightspeed India as an investor.

Renewed Investment Focus

Singh made the declaration via a LinkedIn update on Wednesday (May 8). In his new capacity, he will focus on backing early-stage startups across various sectors like consumer internet and artificial intelligence (AI).

“I plan to devote the upcoming decade to nurturing early-stage startups in India. I am thrilled to rejoin Lightspeed India, investing across consumer and AI domains, collaborating with an exceptional team to support even more remarkable founders,” remarked Singh.


Transition to Investor Role

Reflecting on his shift to becoming an investor, the former FrontRow co-founder revealed that his involvement in aiding friends in their entrepreneurial ventures during his break led him to realize his passion for investing.

“I always enjoyed being an investor but felt somewhat disconnected while working with portfolio companies. This was a major reason why I initially departed from VC. Looking back, it was due to a) lack of experience, and b) difficulty empathizing with founders. However, FrontRow altered both aspects,” added Singh.


Returning to Familiar Grounds

It’s noteworthy that prior to launching the edtech startup, Singh served as an investor with Lightspeed India.


Career Trajectory

An alumnus of IIT-Delhi, Singh established FrontRow in 2019 but ceased operations of the extracurricular activity platform last year, citing challenges such as tepid user traction, escalating marketing expenses, and stagnant revenue growth.

Despite raising $17 Mn during its existence, the edtech startup failed to achieve retention metrics indicative of genuine product-market fit, according to Singh. After a hiatus of six months, he has resumed his role as an investor, rejoining Lightspeed India.


Inspiration for Reentry into Investment Arena

Sharing the catalyst for his return to investment, Singh mentioned a meeting with a friend regarding a Series A funding round, which prompted him to contemplate resuming his investor role. Similar encounters occurred multiple times over the past year, ultimately prompting his decision to reenter the investment sphere.


Future Outlook

Discussing the remarkable growth witnessed by the Indian startup ecosystem in the last decade, Singh emphasized the abundance of ideas and capital within the homegrown ecosystem, foreseeing an equally dynamic future.


Focus on Consumer Tech and AI

Singh expressed his preference for consumer tech companies, anticipating them to emerge as the country’s largest corporations in the future. Regarding AI, he highlighted its potential to revolutionize the services India offers to the world, foreseeing significant transformations in India’s IT services and BPO market.


Joining Amidst VC Landscape Transformation

Singh’s appointment coincides with significant changes in the upper echelons of the Indian VC landscape. It follows two months after Abhishek Nag’s departure as a partner at Lightspeed India and aligns with a trend of top-level exits across various Indian VC and PE firms in the past year.


Navigating Through Investment Challenges

Notably, Singh joins Lightspeed India at a time when the VC firm’s major investments, including those in Udaan and ShareChat, have encountered challenges, leading to valuation markdowns.

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