Startups are (still) making weird name choices

In case the hottest seed-funded startups have their way, this is exactly what your future will look like.

You’ll find your mortgage through a firm called  Morty, refill your contact lenses with   Waldo and receive your cannabis news from Herb. (Which is not to be confused with Bud, the startup which handles your banking.)

Afterwards, you can use Cake Technologies to cover the bar tab, pay for fertility treatments with   Carrot Fertility and receive your workers’ reimbursement through Pie Insurance.

Then, rent your neighbor’s stuff with Fat Lama, manage your cloud solutions with LunchBadger and network your way to a better career with Purple Squirrel.

Notice any patterns here? Yes, first names, foods and animals are very popular lately with founders picking startup names.

These are a couple of of the top naming tendencies Crunchbase News identified in our latest perusal of all seed-stage startups. The job involved parsing through titles of more than 1,000 startups that increased seed rounds of $200,000 and up in the previous nine months.

This information crunch was an update (see our methodology section below) to some prior summary of the often   bizarre naming tendencies  which startups follow. At that moment, we discovered top tendencies included putting AI into your title, using popular first names and employing creative misspellings of common words.

The majority of these things continue to be well known in startup naming, but a few more than others. Adding AI in the end of a title, for example, remains common, but appears to be waning a few. Not as frequently, although creative misspellings are getting done.

Meanwhile, other design styles are getting more fashionable. Below, we have a look at exactly what’s hot today and what might be in trend next.

First titles and nerdy names

The first-name trend appears to be intensifying, diversifying and creeping to more industries. This past year, we began noticing a proliferation of chatbot startups using first names. More recently, the first-name fad has pervaded insurance, cannabis, fintech and a great deal of different areas.

First titles which startups are using will be getting nerdier and not as common. Morty, by way of instance, is commonly short for Mortimer, which peaked in popularity in the 1880s. It had been most recently ranked No. 12,982 on the record of most common names. Then there’s Fritz, a learning software developer with a title which also hit its peak in the late 1800s. It  ranked No. 4,732.

Another mini-trend that we’d prefer to see expand is that the usage of startup titles based on textures.

This is a stark contrast with the crowd. They tended to proceed with hot monikers, such as Ava, Aiden and Riley, that rank high on the newest baby name lists. Some of the more offbeat titles, but do tie into their sectors. Herb was used as slang for marijuana. Morty, for example, shares a first syllable with all mortgage.

It’s also notable that many startups go with single-word names. This is a change from the older school practice of combining a first name with another word, as in famous brands such as Trader Joe’s Sam’s Club.

Food titles

Startups also enjoy naming themselves after foods lately. Of course, that isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, and it has worked well before. Apple called itself after a fruit and later became the planet’s most valuable technology firm.

It should be noticed that the food titles we refer to here are for businesses which, such as Apple, have nothing to do with the food industry. Carrot Fertility, which increased $3.6 million in seed funding last fall, for instance, provides insurance policies for companies to help cover costs of workers’ fertility treatments.   MoBagel is a statistics science startup. Parsley Health provides primary attention.   The listing  goes on.

One of the pleasant things about naming yourself after a food is that these are general goal nouns that don’t seem to increase a whole lot of copyright problems.   Vegetables and baked products aren’will sue you for misappropriating their titles.

Animal titles

Animal titles are also good from a trademark perspective. Additionally, with a creature name you might also cause a cute logo featuring the monster.

These may be some of the reasons why animal names can also be  in trend lately with startups growing both consumer-facing and backend technologies. The formula can also be pretty straightforward: pick a creature and then add yet another descriptive word.

There are plenty of textures out there that don’t have a funded startup associated together, such as spongy, slimy, gelatinous, puffy, gloppy, stringy, pasty, hairy and fluffy.

Of course, for most of the animal-monikered startups, mascots haven’t anything to do with the inherent businesses.   MortgageHippo  clearly doesn’t anticipate hippopotamuses to utilize its own mortgage tool, and Purple Squirrel doesn’t appeal to furry-tailed job seekers.

That said, we do worry about the animal kingdom motif getting a bit overused. For example, MortgageHippo and Hippo Insurance were equally funded in the last few years.

Additional mini-trends we saw and enjoyed

Another interesting trend is that many startups hopping to the trendy title bandwagon are in the insurance industry. We’ve seen a   huge spike in insurance startup funding  over the last few years, with many upstarts looking to re-architect the industry to appeal to millennial customers. They have titles  such as Oscar, Lemonade and The Zebra.

A lot of this action has been bankrolled by the largest insurance companies, most of which are a century old and tend to have dull names that seem like, well, insurance businesses. So don’t be surprised if the cool new insurer is really part-owned by the old boring one your parents whined.

Another mini-trend that we’d prefer to see expand is that the usage of startup titles based on textures. In the last year, both Fuzzy and Mush raised good-sized seed rounds.

It’s not too late to get in with this trend, possibly. An analysis of Crunchbase financing writings reveals there are loads of textures out there that don’t have a funded startup associated with them, such as spongy, slimy, gelatinous, puffy, gloppy, stringy, pasty, hairy and fluffy, to mention a few.


We altered the methodology with this pruning piece as the last one. Previously, we looked at startups based on founding date. This moment, we seemed based on closed seed rounds of200,000 or more in the past year for businesses based in 2015 or later.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com

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