You might notice something different about us. AITV has rebranded as Sway Ventures.
When we started on this path to build a new breed of venture capital firm, we went all in. Nearly four years later, our team now numbers 15 with an additional 16 advisors, and a dedicated presence in Silicon Valley, Southern California, and Europe. We’ve invested in some brilliant teams, realized exits earlier than we thought, and have been blessed by the entrepreneur and limited partner response to our proactive venture platform.
Despite all this, there’s been a lingering disconnect; between our brand and the entrepreneur, limited partner, and venture network we engage with on a daily basis. Six months ago, we began gathering anecdotes and responses from our founders and broader network and the data confirmed our instincts. We had an identity problem.
Specifically, we uncovered three key problems:
Our brand didn’t reflect our culture and story. We’ve been called AITV, Accelerate-IT Ventures, AIT Ventures, AIT and probably countless other names since we first launched. If we’re being honest however, the more the name reverted to acronyms, the less it reflected our actual culture here at the firm, and the message we convey to entrepreneurs. The brand didn’t stand for anything.
The components of the name created confusion. One of the more striking problems with the name was the confusion that went along with it, specifically the use of “IT”. We take a categorical approach to investing, splitting opportunities up as either enterprise (B2B) or consumer (B2C). However, within technology circles, “IT” often denotes a focus on purely core enterprise technology and network infrastructure. This created confusion for our enterprise founders, wondering why we were also making investments into consumer companies and sectors like VR/AR, consumer credit, and retail. On the opposite side, for our consumer founders, the name was isolating to them and questioned our sincerity to invest and add value. Overall, managing expectations for both enterprise and consumer companies, was unduly problematic. The brand left the wrong impression.
Our Internal Team and External Network were not optimally aligned.Perhaps the combination of the two above created a situation where our internal team struggled to find alignment and that in turn manifests itself as a confusing message for our external network of advisors, limited partners, venture partners, and the media. Without clarity and what’s worse, often confusing or contradictory brand messaging, it was nearly impossible to align our internal team and external network around our vision and what we are building. The brand couldn’t rally support.
We realized a new direction was needed. A brand that was unique and differentiated. A brand that represented our culture, our story, and our reality. Most importantly, a brand that resonated with founders, limited partners, and our venture network.
Today we’re revealing our new brand. We think you’ll like the new direction.
AITV is now Sway Ventures.
Sway is a noun, sway is a verb. You can have it, and you can wield it. It can be something you control, or you can be under its control. It denotes motion, but also the ability to command, to influence, to change behavior.
To us, it encompasses entrepreneurship perfectly.
Great teams united by a singular vision and the belief they can change the world are building the technology to sway what’s next.
That is why we’re Sway Ventures, and that is why we invest in great teams.
I’d encourage you check out how our passion and principals influence our purpose.