18 prolific pre-seed investors

July 6, 2022 ‧ Funds that consistently invest at the earliest stage

One of the hardest parts of raising your first round of funding is knowing who to pitch.

Most early-stage funds are relatively small, so few have brand names you would have heard of already. Some funds focus on being first check in, while others want to see beta customers first, but it’s impossible to tell which is which. You could try to get intros to big players like Sequoia and Index, but do they even invest at this stage? Should you do outbound, or just focus on folks who have managed to find you? Maybe you could raise from just angels, and skip funds entirely. Or maybe it’s best to apply to Y Combinator? You heard they have a new, better deal.

The process is overwhelming. There are a lot of options, and very little information available on each.

That’s why we’re working to increase transparency and make at least the first part of this process – finding the right investors to target – just a little bit easier.

To start, we pulled data on hundreds of early-stage funds, and then counted the number of investments they made last year that were specifically labeled “pre-seed.”

We focused on rounds labeled "pre-seed" because they seemed to be the best indicator for funds that would invest at the very beginning, before you had much traction to show.

Below is the result: 18 funds with the highest number of pre-seed investments in 2021.

Start here if you're looking for your very first round of funding. Consider pitching these funds, or look at their Crunchbase pages to see other funds that co-invest with them at the early stage. Fill this form to let us know any other notable funds we might have missed!

Also, obligatory plug: Here at Outset, we also invest at the pre-seed stage. If we seem like we could be helpful, get in touch.