What Is Front?
Front is a strategic investment platform based out of San Francisco, California. The startup was founded in 2013 by French entrepreneurs Laurent Perrin, Mathilde Collin, and Thibaud Elziere, who launched the company from the infamous business incubator Y Combinator. The company has since grown to operate three offices (in San Francisco, Paris and Phoenix), employ over 180 people, and work with over 6,000 businesses, according to its website. The fintech company also acquired another startup — calendar business Meetingbird — in 2018.
Money and Investors
This startup has already gained the confidence of investors. According to Crunchbase, it has raised over $138 million to date from nearly 40 investors. After seed funding rounds in 2013 and 2014, the business raised $10 million in a 2016 Series A round led by Social Capital. The company then raised another $66 million two years later in a round led by Sequoia Capital.
The most recent fundraising round, which closed in January 2020, brought in another massive $59 million for the business and drew the support of a number of individual investors.
Front has been building up excitement for the launch of its app, announcing a waitlist in November 2020, which it said attracted 40,000 people. If that’s any indication of the fintech app’s popularity, this could be a huge source of momentum for the business.
The startup is aiming to differentiate itself from the hoards of other fintech apps and platforms available by presenting the concept of investing in a new way. “The question is not whether to invest, it's how," Bam Azizi, Front’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "As younger generations look to the stock market to build wealth, they need tools to find opportunities and understand risk, now more than ever.”
This company offers a new lens for investors as it compiles companies, markets, and news 24/7 to calculate a single score for every stock using the startup’s exclusive FISCO technology. This technology, which is powered by AI, presents a stock’s calculated value like a credit score. All of this should make it easier to invest in the stock market. However, as has been the case with other companies seeking to revolutionize trading, there may be some unforeseen difficulties along the way.
All in all, Front definitely has a promising idea that really does have the potential to disrupt how investments are made. This app could be the next Robinhood. However, the success of the company will depend entirely on the efficacy of its fintech platform, its marketing, and any competition to the business (both current and emerging). With a fair amount of money behind it, this startup does appear to be poised for a breakthrough.
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.