Naming a company is always a difficult process. Anyone who has gone through it has their own war stories. Hitting seemingly endless “oh, drat they got that name too” moments is way too common.
As for Zettacap, it took a while to get here, but the name is actually fairly meaningful.
“Zetta” implies Big Data—being the unit of measuring data that comes after exa. Most people are familiar with giga, as in a gigabyte. After giga come tera, peta, exa, and then zetta. A zettabyte is approximately one trillion gigabytes (for a really fascinating description of a zettabyte this infographic is worth a look). In other words, it is a ton of data. And—no, we do not have a zettabyte of data—nobody does yet, but most certainly will in our lifetime.
The age of the zettabyte is upon us, however, as evidenced by this study from Cisco that estimates 2016 as the first year that a zettabyte of data is transferred over the internet. Additionally, the same report points out that although the size of data is hitting exceptional levels, its expected growth rate remains in the twenty-plus range. In other words Big is getting bigger.
“Cap” implies finance and investing. Cap can be short for capital, capitalization, and/or capitalize—all terms used alone and in conjunction with other finance terms. Basically it would be difficult to go through a single day at a fund or bank without hearing a form of cap used. It is also fairly common in names, including hedge funds (“Soros Capital Management”) and data provides (“CaptialIQ,” often shortened to CapIQ).
Zetta implies really Big Data, and Cap implies traditional finance.
Zetta+Cap = Big Data for Finance.
For a particularly hilarious commentary on naming hedge funds, refer to the marketfolly blog. At least we avoided the Greek mythology and predatory animal naming themes.