Albumatic Pivots, Rebrands As Koa.la

Today photo-sharing startup Albumatic announced a major pivot with it they are changing the name of their company to Koala. With this change also comes a brand new domain name but it’s not a .COM, in fact it’s a domain hack using .LA, Koa.la.

koa-la

Along with the rebranding comes a shift in focus which at this moment is on the incredibly popular social network Kik. According to TechCrunch:

Basically, it sounds like the Koa.la team is hoping that messaging will become the next big social platform. He noted that Kik is already approaching 100 million users, so he argued, “If we ever run out of Kik users, we have bigger, more exciting problems.” He also argued that other messaging apps will have to follow Kik’s lead and become a platform if they “want to be more than a feature-based service.” (Source – TechCrunch)

Yes, that’s right, Kik already has 100 million users which means that Koa.la is tapping into a huge market that look to be only going up and to the right…a direction we all know and love.

So why not Koala.com? Let’s be honest. A domain like Koala.com probably comes with a nice six-figure price tag, which, a startup like Koa.la might want to buy later down the road, but at this phase given that they are focused on Kik, a .LA will do just fine.

Startups have limited budgets, this is no surprise and where they spend their money is critical to the companies success. While later down the road spending $500,000 on a domain might make sense, in the early days this money should be going into building a great team and building, building, building, and yes building some more.

Congrats to the whole team at Koa.la, they have tapped into one of the hottest social networks on the planet and it looks like that pesky product market fit puzzle might be behind them.

 

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Viljami November 5, 2013, 11:09 am

    Cute hack. Seems like hacks in general are becoming more and more common place, especially with startups focused on mobile.

    Btw, seems like you’ve changed your tone a bit when it comes to acquiring dot com. Perfectly understandable though. And have to agree to an extent, too.

    • Morgan November 5, 2013, 12:44 pm

      @Viljami – I still think that in many cases it is absolutely critical for a company to acquire a .COM, I just don’t think that’s it necessary in all cases. When you are tapping into a network like Kik or the Apple App store you’re not really concerned with driving traffic to your website. A .COM is incredibly important when you want people to come to your site, if that’s not your primary goal then it definitely shouldn’t be where you’re spending your money.

  • RaTHeaD November 5, 2013, 12:05 pm

    this is so cool that rather deciding to be a success they decided to be a failure… (and maybe without even knowing it)

  • Morgan November 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

    @RaTHead – why do you say that? Running a business is 99% execution, do you really think that when focusing on a network like Kik you need a .COM? They aren’t focused on driving visitors to their website, their focus is on selling apps within Kik itself.

    Vine has broken more records than any app on the planet and they’ve done it on Vine.co…About.me raised over $5M and is killing it, do you really think these companies need a .COM to be a success?

  • Cate Colgan November 5, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with you Morgan! Building, building and more building is the startups focus if they are on the right lean track 🙂 getting a .com in the future can be accomplished as part of the strategy if need be 🙂

  • Joe November 5, 2013, 5:16 pm

    So any extension is valid in this market, the only important thing is knowing how to manage the business, the dot-com is the highest, but as you write in the post and reply comments, there are others like you described that have succeeded without a dot-com.

    Now also if there is an extension TLDs and if it’s a dot-co. dot-me startups must register as a trademark in Colombia or Montenegro, this is good for a company Morgan started.

    We all know that when you start to think always in our client and local consumer, then the state to reach a compromise, as the success of the product or service, at least I do not think Colombia and Montenegro, this is the big difference and you ..