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The conventional wisdom differentiates a seed or A round based upon the amount of money raised by the startup. The crossover amount is typically around $500k. This is only half the story, however, as the distinction between a Seed Round and a Series A round goes deeper......
I think the better definition would point to how much has been accomplished by the company. For both Seed and A Rounds, the company often may have an unfinished product in an unproven market. But how unfinished is the product? And how unproven is the market? These levels of distinction are far better indicators of the necessary corresponding investment. And almost more importantly, how defined is the entrepreneur vision? The incomplete product is ok, we expect that. Unknowns about the product and market are expected as well.
But that said, it is striking how many entrepreneurs arrive with the conception that a seed round should allow them to receive investment for a unfinished product (it does) for which they don't yet have a clear, crisp vision (it does not). Simply put, a Seed Round investor can be made comfortable with an unfinished product in an unproven market so long as the entrepreneur has the clearest of ideas about product and market. Frequently, people arrive with a request to fund a hunch as this is their perceived view of seed rounds' purpose. And I'm sure there are investors ready to fund hunches, though they are likely the product of pre-existing relationships and previously profitable demonstrations of intuition.
For the entrepreneur that lacks those relationships and intution track record, clarity is key.