A lead investor is the investor in a company who takes on the leadership position in a financing round, which is another way of saying taking on investment in a single stage, where a company offers a group of outsiders the opportunity to contribute cash to the company in exchange for some sort of an equity position in that company. Leadership position means the person or firm making the investment ends up contributing the largest amount of capital in the round of financing. Therefore, that person or firm is the one primarily dictating the terms of that financing round. The terms typically are set typically in a term sheet, which is a document negotiated between the company and the lead investor. From there, the financing documents signed by the investors and the company usually include – using a Series A financing round as an example – investor rights agreements, right of first refusal and co-sale agreements, stock purchase agreements, voting agreements, and indemnification agreements. Startups often raise capital in a series of rounds, beginning with convertible notes, then proceeding along from Series A to Series B to Series C, and so on. Lead investors in early rounds usually ask for preferences to participate in latter rounds.