Seed stage refers to the phase of the life of a startup company when it is looking for its first outsider investment. When a startup company is founded, the founders contribute capital to the company to get it started. Founders then typically look to friends and family for contributions to support the company while it sorts out its initial business matters. From there founders may find an angel investor who invests personal money into the company in exchange for a high rate of return and quick exit strategy. Around the same time, the company can look for more traditional investment from investment funds that boost early stage startup companies with seed money. After seed funding, companies typically look to a Series A investment round in which preferred stock is offered to traditional investors. Seed funding differs from angel and friends and family investments in that the latter are typically done without significant due diligence and using simplified instruments such as a convertible note. Seed funding mimics Series A funding rounds and typically includes due diligence review of the company’s performance and comprehensive investment documents and antidilutive investor protections. During a seed stage a company often invites the first true outsiders into the company’s equity, although some seed investors prefer to play a mentoring and support role much like angel and friends and family investors.