After raising over $67M eShares fails to secure the .COM and rebrands to Carta

trusted-brand

In all honesty I’m pretty shocked about this one. If you haven’t heard of eShares let me drop a little knowledge before we continue since we’ve been a customer for years and I really like what they do. eShares (errr, Carta) allows startups to easily manage and grant equity all through a super slick, easy to use platform. They essentially led the charge in getting rid of paper in the entire startup fundraising process outside of the Term Sheet itself…which now gets signed with DocuSign so I guess that happened along the way too.

eshares-logo

The first year that we used eShares I found myself constantly going to eShares.com, and then remembering – oh wait, I need to go to eSharesInc.com which uh, obviously isn’t nearly as good. That being said, as a customer it didn’t impact my decision to use them, most of the other startup founders we knew at the time used eShares, it was clearly the popular option, so we went with it.

That was way back in 2014 when eShares had only raised around $8.8M, since then they’ve gone on to raise over $67M and they are (with a whopping $42M coming in last month), and without a doubt, they are most well-known company for startups that want to manage the equity process digitally.

eshares raises 42 million

While eShares has been kicking ass and taking names, they never made the move to eShares.com. So you would imagine that the owner of the .COM would notice eShares massive funding rounds and raise the price. I’m guessing this is what happened…and I’m guessing the price went too high since eShares announced this week they have rebranded to Carta (along with the corresponding Carta.com) after they failed to get eShares.com:

eshares-rebrand-carta-email

It’s an interesting move in two ways:

  1. Clearly not owning the exact-match .COM of their name didn’t hold them back. They raised over $67M and become the category leader by a massive margin without owning their corresponding.com
  2. By the time they probably had enough money to buy the .COM, their business had grown to a point where a rebrand was in order since they wanted to expand beyond the electronic issuance of shares

I’m a proud Carta customer (boom – just used the new name!) and know many other founders that like me, swear by it. Still I have to say, it feels like they could have picked a better name to brand on, Carta just doesn’t have a great ring to me, at the same time eShares did but only for what they were doing at the time. Still, I’m interested to hear what my readers think, is Carta a good rebrand or are there better names out there?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Aron November 9, 2017, 6:41 pm

    interesting.
    I was searching for them last week and went to eshares.com by mistake.
    VERY GLAD they rebranded, but they could have picked something that really screams
    progressive-entrepreneur-slick etc.
    but, carta.com isn’t bad.

    I can remove my esharesinc.com bookmark now 😀
    Aron

    Reply
  • Andrea Paladini November 9, 2017, 6:53 pm

    Original choice, “Carta” means “Paper” in Italian (and in Latin, from which the term derives) and also “Card” in Italian.
    Since their core business is Ownership Management, the reference to the Magna Carta (a Latin term itself) is a good choice IMHO, it makes sense.
    That said, maybe it’s not so easy to spell for some people … 🙂

    Reply
  • Michael November 9, 2017, 8:24 pm

    I like the name carta better then boring eshares ! Carta is fun to say haha

    Reply
  • Darko November 9, 2017, 9:25 pm

    Carta is the better name, imho.

    Reply
  • Frank Mueller November 10, 2017, 2:04 am

    ( its like alphabeth what a crappy name )

    I understand their motives
    as a domainer I hate it.

    But looking at it from outside
    eShares is by far the better name

    even if they sell fries

    Reply
  • João Neves November 10, 2017, 3:39 am

    Carta means “letter” in Portuguese…

    Reply
  • Anthony Mitchell November 10, 2017, 4:07 am

    Carta is reckless and totally non-sensical. It fails to speak to their core business function. If they were a mapping company, fine. But they’re not.

    eShares needed to hire a professional naming consultant, but perhaps that was too much of an unplanned expenditure for them, so they just took whatever one-word .com was laying around. “We’ll make up for it with Google AdWords spending,” but that’s neither economical nor sustainable.

    The fetish for sticking with .COM makes less and less sense every day, when there are numerous other solid extensions out there. If you’re serving retirees who are barely computer literate, then fine, stick with an ancient TLD, but eShares’ clients are in the tech sector and understand the tech landscape. If they don’t, then nothing matters for them anymore.

    As an equity-focused enterprise, eShares could have paired a good TLD with a made-up but relevant moniker, e.g., Equi.co – and kept their company’s brand on point and with room to grow.

    Reply
    • Steve November 10, 2017, 5:37 am

      The guy above says they should have hired a “professional naming consultant”, then suggests a horrible and pathetic name Equi.co , HAHAAHAHAHA LMFAO

      Reply
    • Michael Anthony Castello November 10, 2017, 11:37 am

      Anthony Mitchell – That 3 year argument has already been decided. .com is a solid part of internet culture and habit. It’s only going to get stronger and propagate exponentially as the web continues to expand..

      Reply
  • Barry November 10, 2017, 5:30 am

    Well haha 😂 and good luck now to the current owner of eshares.com

    Your golden goose just left the building.. ‘regrets I had few, but to few mention…’

    What is never mentioned much by domainers is the greediness and ridiculous price expectations many have..

    There are millions of good and great names sitting around dying on the vine as domainers wait for their ‘Rick Swartz’ payday..

    Yawn.. next inspirational sale story please to keep the masses dreaming about their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

    Reply
  • John November 10, 2017, 5:31 am

    Who is using eshares.com now?
    It’s a better name and if they spent all those years using it and raised a bunch of money then at the end of the day it’s a marketing spend.
    In my opinion, if you’re going to have to do a rebrand because you didn’t put in the time in the beginning to name your company with a .com that is available then do it early not later.

    Reply
  • R P November 10, 2017, 6:45 am

    Not sure what is dumber. Rebranding because you failed to secure the .com in a more timely manner, or admitting to your customers that you are changing name because failed to acquire your EM .com. Appreciate the honesty from CEO but doubt investors appreciate the candor. Failure to execute something relatively simple when you have $67M in funding portends other poor management decisions could be around corner.

    Reply
  • John Colascione November 10, 2017, 7:12 am

    Good news for .com owners… With all that funding behind them, I would be surprised if they had not taken a crap shoot as either a UDRP or RDNH processes as there has been some really ridiculous decisions lately, such as IMI.com that make no sense. Would have been worth a shot as its not like the casino table. Interesting non-the-less.

    Reply
  • Mark November 10, 2017, 8:07 am

    Gigantic mistake!

    Reply
  • David November 10, 2017, 8:49 am

    IMO, this is an ill-advised and short-sighted move. (Ref the mint.com example: their domain name was mymint.com. CEO gave 3% of the company to obtain mint.com… an expensive but very profitable and wise move.

    Reply
  • Aaron Strong November 10, 2017, 10:07 am

    In the late 90’s there was a trend to put an “e” or “i” before keywords…. That mentality is barbaric to millennials. For good reason….Good for Carta for waking out of the dinosaur era.

    Reply
  • Atte November 10, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Pretty interesting that I admit so openly that one of the reasons is that they don’t own the .com – I guess I’m just used to companies spinning every single thing. But to be honest, given their goals eShares.com might have been a bit limiting domain name, so they have a legit reason for changing.

    Reply
  • Atte November 10, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Pretty interesting that they admit so openly that one of the reasons is that they don’t own the .com – I guess I’m just used to companies spinning every single thing. But to be honest, given their goals eShares.com might have been a bit limiting domain name, so they have a legit reason for changing.

    Reply
  • Barry G November 10, 2017, 6:34 pm

    Although a sensible move i feel they could have selected a name which passed the spoken word and radio test. If i was telling a friend to go and view their site i feel 99.9% of them would type ‘carter.com’ over that of ‘carta.com’, so from that aspect I’m not a fan of this particular name.

    Reply
  • Doron Vermaat November 10, 2017, 8:53 pm

    I’m with Aaron – their previous name sounds dated. I like Carta – it’s a much more brandable name.

    Reply
    • asset.dmains November 12, 2017, 4:58 am

      carta is good, sort of semi- brandable , but difficult to guess what they do if you tell someone their name .

      Reply
  • Snoopy November 12, 2017, 1:52 pm

    I’ve read a few article on this and until now I didn’t realise we were talking about a different company to long established and well known, eshares.com.

    Were they completely mad calling the company the same name as a well known company and adding “inc” on the url?

    Reply

Leave a Comment