I’d guess that upwards of half of USV’s portfolio companies have changed the name of their company during their lifetime. It is not hard to understand why. Founders start out with an idea and not much more. By the time they have built a product, built a team, and found product market fit, they might be doing something a bit different or a lot different than where they started out.
Most often the name change comes in the first few years when the business opportunity comes into clarity and the original name becomes an issue.
But occasionally it comes much later in life.
A good example of the later in life name change is our portfolio company Dronebase which changed its name to Zeitview this week. We made a seed investment in Dronebase eight years ago about six months after the company was formed. So the company is in its ninth year.
Zietview does aerial inspections of buildings, renewable energy infrastructure, and telecommunications systems using advanced AI/ML software. It is a high-growth business that just raised a $50mm late-stage round.
Over time, the company has adopted many techniques to acquire the imagery that they use to do the AI/ML inspections. Drones are still a big part of the mix but only when they are the best way to acquire the imagery.
So it came time for a rebrand. The Company took its time, thought a lot about it, hired a rebranding agency, surveyed all of its stakeholders, cleared all of the typical conflicts, and landed on Zeitview. They rolled out the name change this week.
I will miss the name Dronebase. I have had good success investing in companies with “base” in the name 🙂 But I am already warming to Zeitview. The two-syllable name with a well-known noun in the second spot is always a great approach to a name.