Jun'2014: Marc Andreessen on fuzzy definitions of "stage": 2003-20011 seed rounds were ~$500K-1M... now you see more startups raising $2-3-4M or even more in "seed" financing, often in multiple tranches... then think about the startup that's raised $3-4M or even $5-6M in "seed" funding that goes to raise a "Series A" from VC firms... VC looks back across the table: "You're not raising a Series A, you're raising a Series B--you already raised your Series A [in seed $]"... VCs assume Series A is to build product + get first beta customers; Series B is to build the business around the product + get to revenue... So a startup that raised as much $ as a Series A in seed funds, but hasn't achieved actual Series A milestones, can be in real trouble... I bring it up because we do see founders trying to raise an "A" after e.g. $6M seed & hitting wall.
- in other words, historically, "Series A" is the first VC round, with Seed Capital coming before that. But if Seed Capital has raised you over $3M, that really counts as your Series A, so when you go to VC you're really asking right off for Series B, so you better have hit Series A-level maturity/milestones.
- re Lean Startup: Minimum Viable Products only get you so far. At some point you have to build "the thing", not just the MVP... Series A is usually needed to build the product (the real product). With very rare exceptions.
- or do we need an IPO market for much smaller entities?