Rethink Venture: The Story and Vision Behind Team8’s Rebrand
Rebranding is an enormous undertaking. The process of developing a new brand identity is a long journey that, once embarked upon, is simultaneously excruciating and inspiring. Throw in a global pandemic and a meaningful expansion of company focus, energies and resources, and, well, it’s been one exciting ride! Nothing can really compare with the feeling of seeing all the moving parts (finally) fall into place.
I’ve led marketing (among other areas) for Team8 since co-founding and launching its brand into the world together with Nadav Zafrir and Israel Grimberg in 2014. Now, six years later, we’ve rebranded. On a personal level, this second iteration of our branding is also my final contribution wearing the CMO hat, as I transition out of marketing and into Team8 Capital to focus on investments.
In building our new brand strategy, we interviewed dozens of people that have worked with us for the last seven years, something we couldn’t have done the first time around. We interviewed founders of portfolio companies, LP investors, C-level executives in our Village, peers in the VC community, and more.
I feel particularly connected to our rebrand story and am excited to share some insights and lessons learned from this labor of love.
First off, the Team8 name is here to stay.
The name Team8 (pronounced teammate) was chosen because collaboration is our leading value. We see ourselves as teammates of the founders of our portfolio companies, working with and for them towards the common goal of achieving success. We’re also very much teammates of enterprises within our Village, helping them to innovate and digitally transform with a unique, collaborative model. All of this is true still today.
The Original Team8 Brand
Focusing on founding new and disruptive cybersecurity companies, our original brand tagline was “Rethinking Cyber”. I believe we lived up to this promise, partnering with entrepreneurs to build numerous new companies which introduced new categories in cybersecurity such as deception, endpoint isolation, identity-based workload protection, digital asset security using Multi-Party Computation and enabling secure data collaboration using Homomorphic Encryption, among others.
Our logo reflected the horizontal figure 8 — also the infinity symbol — connoting the infinite battle in cyber warfare played out between attackers and defenders.
Transforming to a Multidisciplinary Company-Building Venture Group
While the infinite battle between attackers and defenders, which is the idea behind our original logo, is as relevant as ever, our group has expanded its mission and vision beyond cyber. We’ve gone from being a pure cybersecurity foundry and think-tank to a multi-disciplined, company-building and venture group, consisting of multiple vehicles of expertise.
Our original cyber foundry vehicle, now broadened in scope to enterprise technologies altogether, spanning across cyber, privacy, data, AI and infrastructure.
Expanding to fintech, we’ve created a parallel second foundry, acquiring the domain expertise with new partners joining. Fintech was a natural expansion target given the immense opportunities, and the relevancy of cyber and data in any new financial application, which is at the core of Team8’s DNA. Also given the broad representation of the financial sector within our Village.
We’ve expanded our model, to not only create, but also to invest. Through Team8 Capital we invest in companies with amazing leadership teams and a great vision, that are in their early stages i.e. seed, A and B rounds.
A tagline transformed: from Rethink Cyber to Rethink Venture
We’re not only about “rethinking cyber” anymore, but we’re definitely still rethinking. We rethink the conventional role of how venture supports entrepreneurs. We aspire to provide entrepreneurs with an unfair advantage to accelerate success. An advantage to solve problems that capital alone can’t solve.
We introduced a new model to both creating and investing in companies. We bring real company-building capabilities through a 40+ in-house platform team, deep domain expertise, access to a rich community of enterprise executives, and a model that brings it all together in a disciplined way to de-risk company-building and accelerate success.
We rethink venture.
Rethinking our Logo
We wanted to resemble the original logo but change it in a way that reflects the major expansion of Team8. We wanted our logo to represent our “rethink” mindset and mission. And we also wanted it to feature fluid motion, different dimensions, and energy. It had to reflect us — how we move and act and make decisions on a daily basis.
In the ultra-fast-moving venture world, nothing stays the same day-to-day. Technology and ideas change at the speed of light, which means flexibility, adaptability, and out-of-the-box thinking are crucial.
Rather than representing infinity, our new logo represents the venture world today and how we twist to rethink it. By twisting it, we’re looking at the world from different angles and vantage points. We’re challenging the status quo and the current way of doing things.
Our new logo really is “us” — and like us, it can’t sit still. It has to move, act, create, transform, and recreate. What we have is now a more fluid, malleable, dynamic version of the figure 8 that still resembles the old logo in its colors and shape. Continuously rethinking.
Our vehicles of expertise
We are driven by domain expertise. Building and investing in areas we really get. And our vehicles represent it. Still, we are — One team. One brand. Teammates. In bringing the brand life to our vehicles we wanted to highlight our domains of expertise while strengthening the spirit of belonging and the visual connection between these vehicles and the Team8 Group.
Our logo further twists to represent our model, which is broken up to (1) our platform team of company-builders, (2) our Village community of enterprise C-level executives, and (3) a disciplined process that brings it all together. Our model offers a rich ecosystem of resources and a dynamic — yet repeatable — feedback loop-based process for surfacing challenges, ideating solutions, building companies and accelerating growth.
Through ongoing collaboration between our company-builders and the Village, Team8 articulates a thesis with the confidence that a critical mass of enterprises are behind it. Then, we either invest in an existing company through Team8 Capital, leveraging our research and go-to-market teams for due diligence, or we partner with entrepreneurs to build a new company from scratch through our foundry vehicles — Team8 Enterprise and Team8 Fintech.
Our story in less than 4 minutes
We present the Team8 story in this short video, incorporating the new brand:
Summary and thanks
So now the word is out. As we officially introduce the new Team8 Group to the world, we’re excited to turn a new page and take this fluid, dynamic, and agile brand on new adventures and to new heights!
With this new brand, I’m handing over the CMO hat and the Team8 brand I care so much about to new people to take it to the next level, as I transition to focus on investments. It’s been fun. It’s been a challenge. It’s been real. And it’s been worth every second.
This rebrand wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and contributions of dozens of people. First and foremost, the hard-working Team8ers, without whom this launch would have never happened: Lianna Wolfson, who carried this rebrand from inception and throughout her maternity leave and beyond, as well as Sarah Vanunu, who helped bring it all to the finish line, Keren Weiner who fiercely spearheaded the development of our new website, and Keren Shlezinger, the master of SWAG.
Major props go to Saar Friedman, Jonathan Kish, and the entire OPEN branding team for putting their passion and dedication into the final outcome. Also to our partners at Airfleet, Create and STAF. Special thanks to Omri, Eliyah and Moran from Studio Tennis, who’ve been working with us for the last 7 years, making sure everything we do looks awesome.
Originally appeared on Medium