Australian EduTech Platform Advised By Beyonce’s Dad Raises $4.6 Million For International Expansion


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Advised by Beyonce’s father (Dr Mathew Knowles PhD), Australian EduTech platform Frntlne raises $4.6 million in seed funding to accelerate staff training innovation and expand into Singapore, the UK and UAE.

Australian education technology (EduTech) company Frntlne has completed a seed funding capital raise of AU$4.6million as it continues to build out its online platform. The platform is designed to empower frontline retail, hospitality and pharmacy staff with engaging ‘TikTok style’ product education videos and consequently help retailers deliver the best customer experience and sales conversions possible.

Based in Melbourne and launched in 2021 by serial entrepreneur and founder Mark John, the business draws on Mark’s decades of global experience working across entertainment and video content along with his passion for youth education and mentorship.

Designed with a 15-25 age demographic in mind, and with its proprietary Frntlne Interactive Learning Methodology (FILM), Frntlne has seen early success securing a number of high profile, national and multinational retail and consumer clients including Coles, L’Oreal, P&G, Swisse, Mumm Champagne and Bondi Sands, which have all looked to Frntlne’s unique short training videos and interactive content to help build product knowledge and confidence in the frontline staff responsible for selling their brands.

The funds raised will help Frntlne continue to build out its marketing, sales and product development, allowing it to grow its presence in Australia and also expand into several international markets including Singapore, the UK and UAE.

Frntlne CEO and founder Mark John said, “Frntlne was built off the back of my own experience at a retail outlet, ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a DIY home maintenance product only to be faced with several in-store staff who not only had no product knowledge but appeared to be disengaged and happy for me to take my money elsewhere, even suggesting I should go to their competitor. While frustrated at the experience, I saw a great opportunity to use my years of working across entertainment, tech and monetised content to create a practical and highly engaging solution backed by scientific research.”

“Frntlne is not only changing the way retailers and consumer brands deliver their product training but it focuses on upskilling the staff member and providing a ‘win-win-win-win’ outcome for all involved. Having bootstrapped the business to this point, I am excited for the next phase of Frntlne and the opportunity that this funding round will bring in accelerating our product development, the growth of our team and expansion into key international markets including Singapore, the UK and UAE. We are working with a strong group of investors and advisors who have global experience across education, entertainment and technology startups and who truly believe in the potential of our business.” he continued.

The seed round was led by early stage technology venture capital fund RealVC and includes a consortium of strategic investors within the early stage startup and education ecosystem including Hoperidge Capital, the family office of Navitas founder and chairman Rod Jones, and early stage venture capital firm Investible.

Matt Berriman, co-founder and managing partner of RealVC, said, “At RealVC we are committed to backing exceptional founders with passion, talent and the capability to execute, and Mark John hits all these markers”.

“Despite the funding challenges presented by the macro environment in recent months, we believe now more than ever is the time to get behind great founders who are embracing technology to not only disrupt global industries but do so in a way that is creating positive change for the people whose lives it impacts.”

“From an investment perspective, the business presents a compelling business model, with strong unit economics and has a huge Total Addressable Market (TAM) they are targeting, both in Australia and overseas, and we can see Frntlne being a great Australian success story in years to come.”

Jayden Basha, principal at Investible, said, “Mark has built a novel, scalable model that has a broad application to frontline workers irrespective of industry or geography. The company has earned high praises from their early customers. This opportunity really excites us and we look forward to supporting Frntlne’s next phase.”

Alongside these early-stage investors, Mark has also successfully established an impressive advisory board including education expert Dr David Isaacson PhD, who has been instrumental in working with Mark and the team to develop FILM, and professor Dr Mathew Knowles PhD, the architect behind the careers of his daughters Beyoncé and Solange, as well as supergroup Destiny’s Child.