Pre-Seed Funding: What It Is, How It Works?

Let’s Start at the Beginning

When you have a great business idea, you often need some money to make it real. That’s where pre-seed funding comes in. It’s like the first step in a journey to turn your idea into a successful business. In this Article we Will learn About Pre-Seed Funding and How to Raise Pre-Seed Funding?


Pre-seed funding is the earliest stage of funding for new businesses, typically occurring before the business starts generating any revenue.

This initial capital is often used to validate, develop, and refine the initial concept of the business. It helps entrepreneurs conduct market research, develop prototypes, and establish the foundational elements of their business.

During the pre-seed stage, the amount of money raised is generally not very large. The funds may come from the entrepreneur’s personal savings, contributions from friends and family, or from angel investors who specialize in supporting early-stage startups.

These investors are usually interested in backing innovative ideas and helping entrepreneurs bring their visions to life.

The primary goal of pre-seed funding is to prepare the business for the next stage of development and to make it attractive for further investment, like seed funding. It’s a crucial phase where the groundwork of the startup is laid, setting the stage for future growth and development.

Pre-seed funding is the initial stage of financial support for new startups, typically before they start earning any revenue. It serves as the foundational capital to help entrepreneurs test and refine their business ideas.

Let's take a hypothetical example to illustrate this concept:

Example of Pre-Seed Funding



Actions Taken by Sarah

Outcomes and Goals

Idea and Initial Capital Needs

Sarah has an innovative app idea for finding eco-friendly products.

Brainstorms app concept. Identifies initial capital needs for market research, app prototype, and basic business operations.

Understands the financial requirements to start her project.

Sources of Pre-Seed Funding

Sarah needs funding to turn her idea into a prototype.

Utilizes personal savings, secures contributions from friends and family, and approaches an angel investor interested in eco-friendly initiatives.

Gathers enough funds to begin initial operations and development

Amount Raised

The amount needed at this stage is relatively small.

Raises enough funds to cover initial operational costs.

Secures just enough funding to get the business off the ground.

Development and Research

Developing a prototype and conducting market research are essential initial steps.

Develops a prototype of her app and conducts market research.

Achieves initial success, making the startup appealing to other investors.

Preparation for Next Funding Stage

Preparing for future funding opportunities like seed funding.

Uses the prototype and market data to plan for approaching larger investors or venture capital firms.

Sets the stage for future growth and additional investment.

Imagine Sarah, who has an innovative idea for a new app that helps people find eco-friendly products easily. She believes in her idea but needs funds to start turning it into reality.

Since her app is only in the idea stage, she hasn't started making any money from it yet.

This is where pre-seed funding India comes in.

1. Initial Capital Needs:

Sarah needs money to conduct market research, develop a prototype of her app, and establish basic business operations. This could include costs for software development, legal advice, and branding.

2. Sources of Pre-Seed Funding:

Since she's just starting, Sarah opts for pre-seed funding. She uses some of her savings, gets a small contribution from her friends and family, and also approaches an angel investor who is interested in eco-friendly initiatives.

3. Amount Raised:

The amount Sarah raises is relatively small compared to what businesses might seek in later funding rounds. It's just enough to cover her initial operational costs and get her business off the ground.

4. Outcome:

With the pre-seed funding, Sarah successfully develops a prototype of her app and conducts market research. This initial success makes her startup more appealing to other investors.

5. Next Steps:

Sarah's goal with pre-seed funding is not just to start her business but to prepare it for the next phase, which might be seed funding.

Now, with a prototype and some market data, she can approach more significant investors or venture capital firms to seek larger funding that will help her launch the app and grow her business.

In summary, pre-seed funding is like the initial fuel for a startup's journey, allowing an entrepreneur to turn an idea into a tangible product or service and setting the stage for further growth and investment.

Why is Pre-Seed Funding Important?


Pre-seed funding is like the first step in making your business dream come true. Think of it like planting a seed in a garden — it’s the very beginning, but super important.

Here’s why:

Reason for Importance


Example with Sarah's Eco-Friendly App

Idea Validation

Pre-seed funding allows entrepreneurs to test if their idea is appealing to others.

Sarah used pre-seed funding for market research to validate the demand for her eco-friendly app.

Getting Started

Provides initial Startup capital to begin creating the product or setting up the business.

Sarah's pre-seed funding helped her develop a prototype and set up basic operations, acting like pocket money to kickstart her business.

Team Building

Enables the hiring of a small team to assist with various aspects of the business.

With the funding, Sarah hired a developer and a marketing specialist, akin to forming a small team for a soccer match.

Setting Stage for Future Funding

Successful use of pre-seed funds can attract more investors.

Sarah's progress with the prototype and market data made her business more appealing to other investors, much like proving your ability to tend a small garden leads to more opportunities.

Networking and Mentorship

The process of seeking funding can connect entrepreneurs with knowledgeable individuals.

During her funding search, Sarah met an angel investor who provided not just funds, but also valuable advice and industry connections, similar to a coach in a soccer game.

1. Is Your Idea Good?

Imagine you have a new idea for a business. You think it’s great, but will others think the same? Pre-seed money helps you check this out.

It’s like asking friends if they like your new recipe before you open a restaurant.

Sarah had a great idea for her eco-friendly app, but she needed to know if others would find it appealing too. Pre-seed funding allowed her to validate her concept.

She used this initial funding to conduct market research, similar to asking friends if they like a new recipe before opening a restaurant. This helped her understand the potential demand for her app.

2. Getting Started:

This early money is like pocket money that helps you get going. You can use it to make your first products or set up a small office. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to take the first step.

The pre-seed money Sarah raised was like pocket money. It wasn't a large amount, but it was sufficient to get her started. She used it to develop a prototype of her app and set up the basic operations of her business. It was the crucial first step to bring her idea to life.

3. Finding Helpers:

With this money, you can ask a few people to join you. They can be friends or people who are good at things you need, like making a website or selling your product. It’s like forming a small team to play a soccer match — you can’t play alone! With her pre-seed funding, Sarah could afford to bring a few people on board. She hired a small team, including a developer and a marketing specialist, essential for building her app and introducing it to potential users. This is akin to forming a small team for a soccer match; you can't play alone!

4. Setting Up for More Help Later:

When you use this first bit of money well, other people might see your business and think, “Hey, they’re doing a good job, let’s give them more money to grow.” It’s like showing you can take care of a small garden, so someone gives you more seeds and a bigger space to grow more plants.

By effectively utilizing her pre-seed funding, Sarah was able to create a prototype and gather some initial market data.

This progress made her startup more attractive to other investors. It demonstrated her ability to use limited resources effectively, similar to how tending a small garden well can lead to someone trusting you with a larger garden.

5. Meeting Helpful People:

While looking for this money, you might meet people who know a lot about business. They can give you good advice, like a coach helping you play better in your soccer game.

During her search for pre-seed funding, Sarah connected with an angel investor who had insights into eco-friendly businesses. This investor not only provided funds but also valuable advice and industry connections, much like a coach who helps improve your game in soccer.

So, pre-seed funding isn’t just about getting some cash. It’s about testing your idea, starting your dream, building a small team, preparing for bigger things, and meeting people who can guide you. It’s the first big step in your business journey!

In summary, the pre-seed funding phase for Sarah's eco-friendly app was not just about obtaining capital. It was about validating her idea, making a start, forming a team, preparing for future growth, and networking with experienced individuals. This phase laid the groundwork for her business's journey, highlighting the multifaceted importance of pre-seed funding in the world of startups.

How Does Pre-Seed Funding Work?


Pre-seed funding is the early stage of getting money for your business, and it works like this:

Stage of Pre-Seed Funding


Example with Sarah's Eco-Friendly App

Idea Generation

It all starts with a unique business idea.

Sarah's journey began with her innovative idea for an app to find eco-friendly products.

Business Planning

Developing a detailed business plan outlining the idea, its functionality, and the steps to market.

Sarah created a business plan detailing her app’s concept, market research, development costs, and marketing strategy.

Seeking Investors

Finding individuals or entities willing to invest in the idea.

Sarah sought investors within her personal network and approached angel investors interested in environmental sustainability and tech startups.

Pitching the Idea

Presenting the business idea and plan to potential investors.

Sarah pitched her business plan to potential investors, highlighting her market research and the app's growth and profitability potential.

Securing Funding

Receiving financial support from investors, usually in exchange for equity.

An angel investor specialized in eco-friendly startups provided Sarah with funding in exchange for a small equity stake in her business.

Starting Business Development

Using the funds to develop the product and set up the business.

with funding secured, Sarah began developing her app, hired a team, set up an office, and initiated marketing and product development.

1. Your Big Idea:

Every business starts with an idea. Maybe you have a new way of doing something or a product that no one has thought of before.

Sarah's journey began with her innovative idea for an eco-friendly app that helps people find eco-friendly products easily.

Her idea represented a new way of connecting consumers with sustainable choices.

2. Plan it Out:

Once you have your idea, you need to plan. This means writing down what your idea is, how it will work, and what you need to make it happen. This is your business plan.

Sarah then developed a business plan. She outlined her app's concept, its functionality, and the steps needed to bring it to market.

This plan included market research, development costs, and a marketing strategy to launch her app.

3. Looking for Investors:

Next, you need to find people who are willing to give you money to help start your business. These could be friends, family, or even professional investors who are always looking for new ideas to invest in.

After finalizing her business plan, Sarah began seeking investors. She tapped into her personal network, including friends and family, and reached out to angel investors who had an interest in environmental sustainability and technology startups.

4. Pitch Your Idea:

After finding potential investors, you need to explain your business idea to them. Show them your business plan and tell them how you think the business will succeed and grow.

Sarah then pitched her idea to potential investors. She presented her business plan, explaining how her app would meet a growing demand for eco-friendly products and the long-term potential of her business. She highlighted her market research and the potential for growth and profitability.

5. Getting the Funding:

If the investors like your idea, they will give you money to help start your business. Usually, in exchange for this money, they get a small part of your business, which means they own a little bit of it.

Fortunately, Sarah's idea resonated with an angel investor who specialized in early-stage eco-friendly startups. The investor provided her with the necessary funds in exchange for a small equity stake in her business. This financial backing was crucial for getting her startup off the ground.

6. Start Building:

With the money you’ve got, you can start making your product or setting up your business. This is where you take your idea and make it real.

With the pre-seed funding secured, Sarah started developing her app. She hired a small team to help with app development, set up a basic office space, and began her marketing and product development efforts.

This phase was all about turning her idea into a tangible product.

In short, pre-seed funding is about turning your business idea into a reality. It involves planning, finding the right people to support you financially, convincing them with your plan, and then using that money to start building your dream business.

In summary, pre-seed funding for Sarah's eco-friendly app involved several key steps: conceptualizing a unique business idea, planning its execution, seeking and pitching to investors, securing funding, and finally, beginning the actual building of her business.

This early-stage funding was essential in transforming her idea from a concept into a startup with a real product in development, laying the foundation for her business's future growth.

Where Can You Get Pre-Seed Funding?

Where-Can-You-Get Pre-Seed-Funding?

Pre-seed funding can come from a variety of sources, each with its unique benefits:




Your Savings

Personal funds set aside over time. Offers full control over the business without giving away ownership.

Sarah used her savings, showing commitment and maintaining control over her startup.

Friends and Family

Investments from personal connections. Often more flexible, with less stringent requirements, but can impact personal relationships.

Sarah received informal and flexible funding from friends and family, being mindful of relationship impacts.

Angel Investors

Wealthy individuals providing capital for ownership equity. They offer advice, connections, but will own a part of the business.

Significant funding from an angel investor specializing in eco-friendly technology startups, in exchange for small equity.


Raising small amounts from a large number of people, usually online. Good for market testing and reaching a broad audience.

Sarah considered platforms like Kickstarter for funds and market validation.

Business Supporters

Organizations like business schools, incubators, accelerators offering funding and resources like office space, mentorship, networking.

Sarah explored options with tech incubators for comprehensive support including funding and mentorship.

1. Your Savings:

This is money that you’ve set aside over time. Using your own savings shows that you believe in your business idea enough to invest your own money in it.

It’s a great way to maintain full control over your business since you’re not giving away any ownership.

Sarah started with her own savings.

She believed strongly in her app idea and was willing to invest her own money.

This not only gave her full control over her startup but also demonstrated her commitment to future investors.

2. Friends and Family:

These are people who know you well and might be willing to invest in your idea.

They might not require strict business plans or high returns on their investment.

This option is often more flexible and understanding, but it’s important to remember that borrowing money from loved ones can affect personal relationships.

Sarah then approached her friends and family. A few of them were intrigued by her eco-friendly app concept and decided to contribute.

This funding was more informal and flexible compared to traditional investment routes.

However, Sarah was mindful of the potential impact on her personal relationships.

3. Angel Investors:

Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide capital for start-ups, often in exchange for ownership equity.

They are called ‘angels’ because they might take a chance on your business when no one else will. They can also offer valuable advice and connections, but they will own a part of your business.

The significant portion of Sarah's pre-seed funding came from an angel investor who specialized in supporting eco-friendly technology startups.

This investor was attracted to Sarah's innovative idea and her commitment demonstrated by her personal investment.

Along with funding, the investor also provided valuable business advice and industry contacts.

However, in exchange, Sarah had to give up a small equity stake in her startup.

4. Crowdfunding:

This involves asking a large number of people, usually through the internet, to each contribute a small amount of money towards your business. Platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are popular for this.

It’s a great way to not only raise funds but also to test the market and see if people are interested in your product or service.

Sarah also considered crowdfunding as a way to raise additional funds.

She planned to use platforms like Kickstarter to not only gather funds but also to gauge the market interest in her app.

Crowdfunding would allow her to reach a broader audience and validate her product concept with potential customers.

5. Business Supporters:

These include organizations like business schools, incubators, or accelerators that support start-ups.

They might offer funding, as well as other resources like office space, mentorship, and networking opportunities. This type of support is not just financial; it’s educational and can significantly help in the early stages of a business.

Finally, Sarah explored options with local business incubators. She found a tech incubator that offered not just funding, but also mentorship, networking opportunities, and a workspace.

This comprehensive support was crucial in helping her navigate the early stages of her startup journey.

Each of these sources has its own set of advantages and challenges. The choice depends on your situation, how much control you want to retain, and the amount of money you need to get started.

In summary, Sarah’s approach to securing pre-seed funding for her eco-friendly app startup was multifaceted. She tapped into her savings, received support from friends and family, secured an investment from an angel investor, considered crowdfunding, and sought assistance from business incubators.

Each of these sources played a vital role in getting her startup off the ground, providing not just financial backing but also strategic support, market validation, and essential business resources.

Also Read : How to Raise Pre-Seed Funding: A Beginner's Guide

Things to Think About





Sharing Your Business

Consider the proportion of business to offer to investors. Balance necessary capital with sufficient ownership and control.

Sarah carefully considered the equity amount to maintain control while gaining investment.

Finding the Right People

Seek investors who understand and believe in your vision, offering more than just financial support but also expertise and network.

Sarah chose an investor who shared her vision for eco-friendly products and provided industry insights.

Being Realistic

Accurately value your business for fair negotiations. Avoid overestimating or undervaluing. Use market research and financial analysis.

Sarah conducted thorough research for a realistic valuation of her startup.

Knowing the Rules

Understand the legal aspects of equity financing, including investment structures and rights/obligations. Seek legal advice.

Sarah learned about different investment structures and legalities, and sought legal advice.

Wrapping Up

Pre-seed funding is about getting the first crucial investment for turning ideas into a real business. It involves strategic planning and a balanced approach to equity sharing.

Sarah's journey in pre-seed funding involved careful investor selection and equity management.

- Sharing Your Business:

When seeking funding, it’s crucial to carefully consider the proportion of your business you’re willing to offer to investors.

Giving away too much can lead to losing control over key decisions. Strive for a balance that provides the necessary capital while retaining sufficient ownership and control.

When Sarah sought funding, she was careful about how much equity she was willing to give up. She knew that giving away too much could mean losing control over her business.

With her angel investor, she struck a balance, offering a small percentage of her company in exchange for the capital she needed.

This allowed her to maintain control over most of her business decisions while benefiting from the investor's funds and expertise.

- Finding the Right People:

The importance of aligning with investors who genuinely comprehend and believe in your vision cannot be overstated.

Look for individuals or entities that not only provide financial support but also bring valuable expertise, network, and a shared passion for your business concept.

Sarah was particular about aligning with investors who shared her vision for an eco-friendly future.

The angel investor she chose not only provided financial backing but also believed in the potential of eco-friendly products.

This investor's network and knowledge in the industry were as valuable as the funding, providing Sarah with guidance and connections that were instrumental in her startup's development.

- Being Realistic:

Accurately valuing your business is a critical aspect of negotiations. Overestimating its worth can deter potential investors, while undervaluing it can lead to unfavorable terms. Conduct thorough market research and financial analysis to arrive at a realistic valuation.

In negotiating with investors, Sarah had to be realistic about her business's valuation.

She avoided overestimating the worth of her startup, which could turn away potential investors, and also guarded against undervaluing it, which could lead to less favorable investment terms.

She conducted thorough market research and financial analysis to arrive at a valuation that was reasonable and justified by her business plan and market potential.

- Knowing the Rules:

Familiarize yourself with the legalities and regulations surrounding equity financing. This includes understanding how different types of investments work, the implications for your business structure, and the rights and obligations that come with accepting external funding. Seeking legal advice is often a wise step in this process.

Sarah made sure she understood the legalities of equity financing.

She learned about different investment structures, how they would affect her business, and the rights and obligations associated with accepting external funding. She also sought legal advice to ensure that she complied with all regulations and that her agreements with investors were clear and legally sound.

In summary, Sarah's approach to securing pre-seed funding for her eco-friendly app was not just about raising capital.

It involved careful consideration of how much of her business to share, finding investors who aligned with her vision and values, realistically valuing her startup, and understanding the legal intricacies of equity financing.

These considerations were crucial in ensuring that the funding process supported her startup's long-term success and aligned with her goals as an entrepreneur.

- Wrapping Up:

So, pre-seed funding is really just about getting that first bit of money to start turning your idea into a real business. It’s an important step, and understanding it can help you make your business dream come true.

Wrapping up Sarah's journey with her eco-friendly app startup in the context of pre-seed funding:

Pre-seed funding for Sarah was all about securing that crucial initial investment to transform her eco-friendly app idea into a tangible business asset.

This phase was not just a financial stepping stone; it was a period of significant strategic and operational groundwork.

Through careful planning, thoughtful selection of investors, and a balanced approach to equity sharing, Sarah navigated the pre-seed funding stage effectively.

For Sarah, and indeed for many entrepreneurs, pre-seed funding is a pivotal moment. It represents the transition from concept to reality, where ideas begin their journey towards becoming viable businesses.

Sarah's story illustrates the importance of this stage - it's where she validated her idea, secured the necessary capital, and laid the foundation for future growth.

In essence, understanding the nuances of pre-seed funding, as Sarah did, is a critical part of an entrepreneur's journey.

It involves more than just raising money; it's about building partnerships, valuing your business accurately, and setting the stage for future success.

For anyone aspiring to turn a business dream into reality, navigating the pre-seed funding stage with awareness and strategic foresight can make all the difference in setting a strong and sustainable course for their business venture.

Also Read : Top 7 Startup Accelerators in Rajasthan


1. What is Pre-Seed Funding?

Pre-seed funding is the initial financial support for new businesses, usually provided before the business generates any revenue. This funding is typically used for market research, developing prototypes, and laying the foundation of the business.

2. Why is Pre-Seed Funding Important?

Pre-seed funding is essential for testing business ideas, starting initial operations, forming a small team, preparing for future investments, and networking with knowledgeable individuals. It’s the first significant step in transforming a business idea into reality.

3. How Does Pre-Seed Funding Work?

Pre-seed funding involves having a business idea, creating a business plan, seeking investors, presenting the idea to them, securing funding, and then using that funding to start building the business.

4. Where Can You Get Pre-Seed Funding?

Sources of pre-seed funding include personal savings, friends and family, angel investors, crowdfunding, and business supporters like incubators or accelerators.

5. What Should You Consider When Sharing Your Business with Investors?

When sharing your business, it’s important to balance obtaining necessary capital while retaining enough ownership and control. Consider how much of your business you are willing to offer to investors.

6. How Do You Find the Right Investors?

Look for investors who understand and support your vision. Ideal investors provide not only financial support but also expertise, network, and a shared passion for your business idea.

7. Why is Being Realistic About Your Business Valuation Important?

A realistic business valuation is crucial to attract investors. Overestimating can deter investors, while undervaluing can lead to unfavorable terms. Conduct market research and financial analysis for a proper valuation.

8. What Legal Aspects Should You Understand in Pre-Seed Funding?

It’s important to understand the legalities and regulations surrounding equity financing, such as different types of investments, implications for your business structure, and the rights and obligations of accepting funding.

9. How Much Money is Usually Raised in Pre-Seed Funding?

The amount raised in pre-seed funding is generally not very large, as this stage is primarily for validating and developing the initial business concept.

10. Can Pre-Seed Funding Affect Future Investments?

Yes, effective use of pre-seed funding can make the business attractive for further investment, such as seed funding. It sets the stage for future growth and development.