Strategic partners from the corporate world might also commission funded development project in which the startup develops some custom work in support of the strategic partner's areas of interest. Often this takes on the format of a consulting contract.
This can be good or bad - the good news is that this is revenue that keeps the lights on. The bad news is that consulting projects are often strategic for the partner and not the startup. It is up to the startup to be fully informed about what the engagement entails, so they can make an informed decision about whether these funded development projects make sense.