After 3 Million Investment: Austrian Guitar Learning Startup, Fretello, declares Bankruptcy

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©  Lukas Beck / Fretello

The Linz-headquartered (Upper-Austria) startup Fretello, known for its guitar learning app, had garnered support from significant investors and notably secured a million-dollar investment in the spring of 2023. Unfortunately, the company is now facing insolvency and is set to shut down.

The Linz-based startup Fretello centered its vision on mastering the guitar through an innovative app. This venture enjoyed a significant period of success. For instance, in spring 2022, under the leadership of founders Florian Lettner and Wolfgang Damm, the company secured a substantial €3 million investment.

During this phase, notable backers such as the Finnish VC fund Sparkmind, the European Super Angels Club (ESAC), and Tractive co-founders Michael Tschernuth and Michael Lettner joined forces with the enterprise. Earlier supporters included Alfred Luger, co-founder of Runtastic, the Upper Austrian HightechFonds, startup300, and business angel Christiane Holzinger, among others.

Approximately a year ago, Fretello unveiled a strategic collaboration with leading music instrument giants, Yamaha and Thomann. Both companies offered their guitar buyers a complimentary trial subscription to the guitar learning app.


Regrettably, the anticipated outcomes from the two sales partnerships did not materialize, prompting Fretello to file for bankruptcy proceedings at the Linz Regional Court, as reported by Kreditschutzverband 1870. The startup highlighted that its joint efforts with Yamaha and Thomann did not meet their expected targets. Moreover, the company attributed its struggles to Apple’s stricter privacy rules, which hampered effective advertising.

Consequently, Fretello is preparing to wind down its operations. The bankruptcy impacts 26 creditors, though no current employees are affected. None of the initial 18 employees remained with the company by the end of the year. According to KSV, the available assets total 778,700 euros, but these are eclipsed by liabilities amounting to 1.036 million euros.

About Fretello

Fretello, an Austrian EdTech startup, specializes in crafting mobile apps designed to aid musicians in learning various musical instruments through interactive educational content. The company stands as a trailblazer in leveraging artificial intelligence within mobile devices. In 2019, it partnered with Apple, introducing the world’s premier fully immersive augmented reality learning experience. Fretello’s systematic approach supports musicians in mastering the guitar, empowering them to achieve their musical aspirations. The company collaborates with distinguished music instructors and certified music schools from Austria and Switzerland.


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