The first installment of our new monthly feature Jargon Watch, wherein we discuss the background and meaning of buzz terms, will focus on the ever-more-popular ‘pre-seed’ funding round. As the name states, it is funding that occurs before a proper seed round, and does not preclude the latter. Tellingly, contributors to a Quora thread dating back to 2013 initially didn’t acknowledge the stage at all, while more recent responses have varied opinions about what it is. TechCrunch published a piece by Afore Capital’s Anamitra Banerji in early 2018, detailing the peculiarities of the funding stage: disavowing the notion that pre-seed is a mere fad, the high-risk segment steps in before product/market fit has been established, a prerequisite for a seed round. The round used to come from the ‘three Fs’: Friends, Family, and Fans, but the growth in the average seed round opened up space for institutional investors to step in, a dynamic which, as Rob Go of NextView points out, already played out with series A and B rounds almost a decade ago. For even more details on the current landscape, check out this State of Seed 2018.