Things are getting earlier and earlier. You need so little money to prove things that you have to prove them with little.
And that makes the action earlier.
So a seed round used to be no big thing – friends and family. But now it is full of professional funds and experienced angels.
After the seed is now the “small A”. You don’t raise 500 then raise 5mm, you do 500 then 2mm. This is necessity on the investor side and opportunity-seeking on the founder side. Why raise “too much” when you can achieve a lot.
And before that all, there is a whole other phase. Incubators used to BE the seed.
A head of a good one said to me recently that VCs now expect accelerator/incubators to babysit while companies mature to seed stage.