I think it’s safe to say that Confluent.io has proven that you absolutely can build a billion dollar business, while branding on a .IO domain name. The company has been on an incredible growth trajectory after raising their Series A round back in 2014 at a $26M valuation.
The CEO of Confluent Jay Kreps wrote a bit more about why the company has grown so fast in a blog post announcing the funding.
Confluent is a company that was founded around a big idea and that idea is starting to become a mainstream reality. We think there is a really fundamental missing ingredient in the software architecture of a company, namely the idea of “events.” These events are the orders, sales, and customer experiences, that constitute the operation of the business. Databases have long helped to store the current state of the world, but we think this is only half of the story. What is missing are the continually flowing stream of events that represents everything happening in a company, and that can act as the lifeblood of its operation. (Source – Confluent blog)
This is a huge idea and something that is clearly already revolutionizing the way companies around the world are thinking about how they evolve their software and utilize databases.
While I’m a big fan of .COM and a majority of the domains I own are .COM, I’ve heard people say things like, “you can’t build a big business without the .COM” and I’ve always rejected that idea. The reality is we are still in the early days of the Internet and people around the world are just now starting to take other extensions seriously, or even learn that they exist.
Confluent.io was able to build a multi-billion dollar business on a .IO domain. I’m not sure if they tried to get the .COM, or if they will try to now, but if they do, it’s clear they didn’t need it to get to where they are today.
I’m going to reach-out to Jay to see if he can share his thoughts about building the company on a .IO domain. Either way, it’s pretty awesome to see, and while .COM is still #1 in mine and just about everyone else’s book, this shows that you don’t need a .COM to build a multi-billion dollar business.