It’s “How They Got That Name” week on Fritinancy, bringing you origin stories of corporate and product names both famous and obscure. Our first entry, Pitango, is big in Israel but may be unfamiliar to readers elsewhere.
Founded in 1993, Pitango is Israel’s largest venture capital fund. It invests seed capital in technology, consumer, and life sciences companies.
Pitango is a Hebrew word (פיטנגו) pronounced with a broad A: pih-TAHN-go. The corporate website tells the name-origin story:
Our name reflects our ethos. The Pitango is a fruit that grows in abundance throughout Israel, yet the ripest fruits are a challenge to find. Just like finding the right company takes a good eye for opportunity, persistence and skill – the sweetest Pitangos are hard to find, hidden by dense foliage. Once found, the effort is worth it.
The story could be told more elegantly, but it’s a decent start. The name itself is solid: the spelling is straightforward and the word is easy to pronounce in most languages. There’s a nice implicit association between two types of cultivation: agricultural and business. (It’s right there in “seed capital,” of course.) To anyone familiar with English, the embedded go and tango are pure positives, suggesting dynamism and partnership.
I also like the visual identity: the sophisticated balance of serif and sans-serif typefaces; the stylized, not-too-literal rendering of a cherry blossom (in cherry red).
Pitango is also the name of a restaurant in the coastal Israeli city of Netanya. The two Pitangos are unrelated except for their shared name.
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