Student-run Front Row Ventures makes first $25,000 investment

front row ventures

Montreal-based Front Row Ventures has made its first investment in Pelcro, founded by a recent McGill graduate.

Launched in September 2017, Front Row Ventures is a $600,000 fund founded by three Montreal-based students, in partnership with Real Ventures. The fund plans to invest $25,000 in 24 student-run startups. The fund includes a team of 20 students from Montreal universities including McGill, Campus Montréal (UdeM, HEC, Polytechnique), Concordia, and UQAM, ESG, and ÉTS.

“This is one of the top companies we’ve seen out of McGill to date. Pelcro could become the operating system behind an industry transition to subscription revenue, and we’re glad to support them on the way there,” said Makoto Rheault-Kihara, partner at Front Row Ventures and lead on the deal.

Pelcro’s platform allows publishers to monetize readership through subscription instead of advertising. With the rise of ad-blockers and Google and Facebook’s duopoly on advertising, Pelcro hopes to provide an alternative. Pelcro’s solution persuades readers to subscribe to an ad-free, premium experience, or turn off their ad-blocker.

“Our mission is to solve the content monetization problem by providing publishers with the necessary tools to meet ad-blocking trends and the increasing user demand for an ad-free experience and premium content,” said Andrew Morris, COO at Pelcro and recent McGill graduate.

The funding will be use to close Pelcro’s first major publishers and caliber its business model.

“For us, this investment validates FRV’s thesis that student entrepreneurs can bring a fresh vision to even the oldest industries. We believe young minds are in a prime position to bring the next wave of disruption to many industries,” said Éléonore Jarry-Ferron, co-founder at Front Row Ventures.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.