15 Pre-Seed Venture Capital Firms Who Invest in Early Stage Startups

Startups generally raise pre-seed funding in order to gain the resources needed to to reach a minimum viable product level and begin showing a value proposition.

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For early-stage startup founders, getting pre-seed venture capital can be critical to getting a startup off the ground. A successful pre-seed funding round can be the difference between skyrocketing startup success and never getting out of the garage.

But where exactly are pre-seed venture capital firms? How do you find those pre-seed funds that will actually write a check to an early stage startup? What types of technology companies and projects do each of those venture capital firms invest in? Which pre-seed funds have a check size that could be a fit for you? Which of those venture capital firms will consider leading pre-seed rounds? And which ones should you consider as you seek early adopters for your business?

We’re here to answer all these questions (and more) by breaking down our list of the 15 leading venture capital firms that invest in pre-seed stage startups – plus sharing tips for how to present to these pre-seed funds. Read on to learn everything you need to know about building relationships with these elusive pre-seed investors!

What is pre-seed venture capital funding and why it matters

Pre-seed venture capital funding is an invaluable source of early stage resources for early stage startup founders trying to get their companies off the ground. These pre-seed rounds of funding are usually the first rounds of funding raised.

Startups generally raise pre-seed funding in order to gain the resources needed to to reach a minimum viable product level and begin showing a value proposition. In other words, pre-seed rounds are generally raised in order to fund early stage product development.

Pre-seed funding is post-ideation funding that is generally used for product development.

Pre-seed funding is distinct from seed funding which is generally used to begin growing out a business, and showing product-market fit or Series A funding which is about revenue growth and scalability.  (For more on Series A, see 17 Essential Series A Pitch Decks by VC-Funded Startups).

(For more on startup fundraising read our articles: How to Raise Venture Capital Funding for Your StartupPre-Seed Funding: What it Is and How to Get ItHow to Create a Startup Pitch).

Read more about the Startup Sales Strategy.

The different types of pre-seed investors

Pre-seed investors come in various forms. The most common source of pre-seed funding is angel investors. Angel investors are high net worth individuals who take an interest in early stage startups, and who choose to invest their personal funds in teh company. Another common source of pre-seed funding is friends and family. Friends and family are exactly that, people close to the founding team who choose to invest in the startup driven by confidence and a personal connection rather than due to return expectations. Accelerators and incubators will sometimes provide funding for pre-seed rounds as well, often providing a package comprised of both capital and resources to their startups. (For more on accelerators and incubators, please see our 14 Best Fintech Accelerators and Incubators, 10 Best Blockchain Accelerators and Incubators, and 5 Best Sports Accelerators and Incubators.)

Learn more about how do angel investors work?

Pre-seed venture capital firms are a relatively recent phenomenon.

But what about pre-seed venture capital firms….

Pre-Seed Venture Capital Funds

Pre-seed funds are actually a relatively recent development. For a long time, many venture capital firms steered clear of pre-seed stage startups, viewing them are too early and most importantly, too risky for institutional investment.

But in recent times, pre-seed funds have cropped up in recent times to focus solely on early stage companies at this stage of development—allowing aspiring entrepreneurs access to capital from experienced venture capitalists who better understand the challenge of launching a business from scratch and have a specific hypothesis around pre-seed investment.

Now, let’s take a look at our top venture capital firms funding pre-seed startups…

15 Pre-Seed Funds Who Invest in Early Stage Startups

1). Beta Boom

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Major Verticals: Digital Health, Fintech, EdTech

Investments: 16

Exits: 3

Year Founded: 2017

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://betaboom.com/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/beta-boom

Beta Boom invests in pre-seed startups in software that are creating the future of digital health, edtech, consumer internet and fintech for women and multiracial consumers. The pre-seed fund focuses on investing in remarkable founders with diverse backgrounds from locations across the United States where tech is booming.

2). Forum Ventures

Location: San Francisco, CA

Major Verticals: SaaS, Enterprise Software,

Investments: 378

Exits: 95

Year Founded: 2014

Status: Actively Investing

Website: www.forumvc.com

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/forumventures

Forum Ventures is the leading early-stage fund, program and community for B2B SaaS startups. Founded in 2014 as Acceleprise, Forum Venture is on a mission to make the B2B SaaS journey easier, more accessible and successful for early-stage founders, through pre-seed and seed-stage funding, high touch programming, corporate perks and introductions, and an active SaaS community.

With over 250 portfolio companies, Forum founders have gone on to raise from NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Uncork Capital, 8VC, Founders Fund, Menlo Ventures, Canaan, Bowery Capital, Susa Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, SV Angel, True Ventures and many more.

3). 2048 Ventures

Location: Princeton, NJ

Major Verticals: Healthcare, Financial Services, Information Technology, Business Products, Business Services, Consumer Products, and Consumer Services

Investments: 78

Exits: 4

Year Founded: 2018

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.2048.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/2048-ventures

2048 Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm that invests in next generation platforms — APIs, data, infrastructure, marketplaces, and specific types of vertical SaaS. 2048 invests across different verticals, but focuses on: Biotechnology, Digital Health, AI/ML, Robotics, AR/VR, IoT, Hardware, Blockchain, Climate, Energy, Space, Mobility, Logistics, Security, Developer Tools, and anything else Deep Tech.

4). FullCircle

Location: New York, New York

Major Verticals: Future of Work

Investments: 12

Year Founded: 2021

Status: Actively Investing

FullCircle is a perpetual pre-seed venture capital fund investing in a better workforce where working caregivers are supported, small businesses have an edge and enterprises have a thriving diverse talent base. The pre-seed fund invests up to $250k into initial rounds ranging $500k-$2.0M.

FullCircle is highly collaborative and network-driven, co-investing with the angels and small early-stage funds you want around the table.

Website: https://www.buildingfullcircle.com/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/fullcircle-c7b1

5). Unshackled Ventures

Unshackled is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in pre-seed stage startups led by immigrants.

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Major Verticals: Hardware, Software, Materials, and Life Sciences

Investments: 77

Exits: 12

Year Founded: 2015

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.unshackledvc.com/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/unshackled-ventures

Unshackled Ventures is the first and only early-stage venture capital firm focused on retaining foreign talent in the U.S. By investing in immigrants and helping them to secure visas, the pre-seed fund has tapped into undiscovered super-talent in helping foreign-born founders turn their innovative ideas into the next great American company. Launched in 2015, Unshackled has invested in over 70 companies in core American industries from trucking, infrastructure, and manufacturing to healthcare and space technology, leading pre-seed rounds of less than $500,000 and concentrating on founders that have a strategy for their pre-seed round to last 12–18 months, if not more.

6). DevLabs

Location: Oakland, CA

Major Verticals: Software, AgriBusiness, and Energy

Investments: 13

Year Founded: 2013

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://devlabs.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/devlabs

Devlabs is micro Venture Capital firm investing in early stage B2B software, renewable energy and agroindustrial companies. The pre-seed fund’s portfolio companies are high-growth companies in software, energy and agri-business who are using market-driven solutions to solve multi-billion dollar problems. Investors benefit from unique access to a pipeline of companies from untapped markets.

DevLabs makes early-stage investments ranging from 25 – 500k in return for equity participation in the company.

7). First Check Ventures

Location: San Francisco, CA

Major Verticals: Fintech, E-Commerce, Food Tech

Investments: 36

Exits: 1

Year Founded: 2020

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.firstcheckventures.com/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/first-check-ventures

First Check Ventures was founded in 2020 and has since developed a rich network of global business partners. The pre-seed fund makes early and transformational investments in companies that have the potential to do great things. The dedicated team is made up of seasoned investors who are looking to partner with hard-working, visionary entrepreneurs.

8). Good Growth Capital

Good Growth Capital is a majority women-owned venture capital firm investing in life sciences.

Location: Charleston, SC and Boston, MA

Major Verticals: MedTech, BioTech, Data Science, GreenTech, and Hard Sciences

Investments: 81

Exits: 4

Year Founded: 2015

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.goodgrowthvc.com/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/good-growth-capital

Good Growth Capital is a majority women-owned venture capital firm that invests in early stage life science, green tech, hard science, and data science companies. Good Growth is known for its world-leading expertise in technology commercialization, and for finding, funding and growing superior, defensible technology companies that fill pressing societal needs. Good Growth Capital and its funds meet both ESG and UNSDG impact goals.

9). 27V

Location: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Major Verticals: EdTech, Future of Work

Investments: 26

Exits: 1

Year Founded: 2019

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.27v.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/twenty-seven-ventures

27V believes in supporting the 2 greatest human endeavors: learning and labor. The VC Fund invests $50K – $250K in global EdTech and Future of Work startups at the pre-Seed and Seed stage. The venture capital firm facilitates community and connections among not just founders but entire teams so early employees can share insights and learn from each other.

10). Hustle Fund

Hustle Fund is known for providing pre-seed funding to "hilariously-early" startup founders.

Location: San Carlos, California

Major Verticals: FinTech, Healthcare, AI/ML

Investments: 360

Exits: 36

Year Founded: 2017

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.hustlefund.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/hustle-fund

The Hustle Fund is a venture capital firm that invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups operating in software, business to business, fintech, and digital health sectors. The early-stage venture capital fund is known for investing in “hilariously-early” founders.

11). Yes VC

Location: San Francisco, California

Major Verticals: E-Commerce, SaaS, AI/ML

Investments: 56

Exits: 6

Year Founded: 2018

Website: https://yes.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/yes-vc

Founded in 2018, Yes VC is an early-stage venture fund located in San Francisco. Yes VC funds pre-seed and seed stage companies that build communities and movements.

12). Launchpad Capital

Location: Oakland, California

Major Verticals: FinTech, AI/ML, Insurance, Real Estate

Investments: 44

Exits: 4

Year Founded: 2020

Status: Actively Investing

Website: http://www.launchpad.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/launchpad-capita

The world of financial services is transforming and more ready than ever for thoughtful disruption. The combination of permanent structural changes to the global financial services industry and readily accessible infrastructure will unlock empowering financial and technology innovation at across the FIRE sector – from finance, to insurance and real estate – through products and services that are fair, transparent and give consumers and businesses full control of their hard earned money and the data tied to it.

LaunchPad Capital is a venture capital firm that builds and invests in pre-seed and seed stage Fintech companies.

13). Rarebreed Ventures

Location: Baltimore, MD

Major Verticals: Software, Fintech, E-Commerce, Marketplace

Investments: 41

Year Founded: 2020

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://rarebreed.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/rarebreed-ventures-c8f7

RareBreed Ventures is a pre-seed fund that invests in exceptional founders primarily outside of large tech ecosystems, earlier than everyone else.  The pre-seed fund writes checks of up to $250K as the first or one of the first investors in exceptional startups.

Rarebreed invests in companies primarily outside of the major tech hubs of SF, NY, and MA. The pre-seed fund invests in 2 types of companies: those building a software product with a unique or clearly repeatable customer acquisition strategy or building a physical product in a vertical that has lacked innovation in 10+ years.

14). The Fund

The Fund is an early stage venture capital fund by founders for founders to support pre-seed and seed stage startups.

Location: New York, NY

Major Verticals: Health Care, E-Commerce, FinTech

Investments: 284

Exits: 13

Year Founded: 2017

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://www.thefund.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/the-fund

The Fund is a first-of-its-kind early-stage venture fund created ​by founders for founders​ to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.

15). Surface Ventures

Location: New York, NY

Major Verticals: Software

Investments: 30

Exits: 3

Year Founded: 2017

Status: Actively Investing

Website: https://surface.vc/

Crunchbase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/the-fund

Surface Ventures is a $50 million pre-seed and seed stage fund that invests primarily in B2B software at pre-money valuations below $15 million. The fund’s median first check size is $900,000.

Tips for Pitching to Pre-seed Investors

Before you ever start pitching pre-seed investors, put together your list of investors that you think could be a fit for your early stage startup. Consider who the investors are who are interested in you industry and the stage you’re at, as well as the size of check that they generally write.

At the same time, put together your pitch deck. This pre-seed deck will likely be your first pitch deck, so it may feel like a daunting task, but sit down and get started. Think of the pitch deck as an overview of your business plan and what you’re about. It should contain the major points that any investor will want to know about your company like what you’re doing, who your customers are, what they like about your product or service, and what you think your market is. You will likely go through many iterations of your pitch deck as you work on it, and especially as you talk to investors, so don’t get discouraged.

For more on how to build a stellar pitch deck, read our article on How to Create an A+ Venture Capital Pitch Deck and see  19 Best Pre-Seed Pitch Decks from Early Stage Startups,

Finally, reach out to investors, and start having the conversations. Yes, you will likely get rejected, maybe a lot, but if you keep doing it, you will start seeing some headway!

Good luck!



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