Startup Domains Making News


It’s always interesting to see what domain names startups pick. Last year we helped 18 startups acquire domains and I’m excited to be helping over 30 startups so far this year find the perfect domain to build their brand on. While .COM is by far the most popular choice .ME, .CO and a late-comer to the game .IO are making a strong showing. Here’s a look at some of the top startup domains making news this week:

  • announced an $8M raise this week
  • – think Etsy meets Fab
  • launched to help teach kids how to code, is it just me or does that make you feel old?
  • SongBird is calling it quits after a good fight in the music streaming space, they unfortunately were stuck with their 2nd choice –
  • got some nice buzz at the Extreme Startups Spring 2013 Demo Day in Toronto
  • is finding it’s stride after raising a total of $15.3M (source CrunchBase)
  • Google is shutting down a company a cool ad platform they acquired
  • .CO was having a blast at SMX this week, you can see the highlights on their Twitter feed
  • raised $22M in a Series D round (source TechCrunch)
  • won Europe’s top startup award
  • raised 12.5M in a Series B Round (source TechCrunch)
  • VentureBeat covered the growth in popularity of .ME domains with startups, they mention which has raised over $15M in funding to date and, one of my personal favorites
  •, a startup you’ve probably never heard of is getting a whopping 80 million unique monthly visitors
  • acquired, a two person team, or better put, two guys with a whole heck of a lot more money now

I’ve spoken with a few of the startups that I work with and plan to be featuring more stories from startup founders on what their experience was like finding and acquiring domain names. Since I now spend 95% of my time in the startup world as the CTO of Fashion Metric I’ve heard more domain acquisition horror stories than I could shake a stick at. It’s not all fund and games and sometimes it’s one heck of a fight to acquire the domain you’re looking for. Couple this with unreasonable domain owners and people who never respond to their emails and it can be incredibly frustrating for startups.

I plan to shed some light on the good, the bad, and the ugly and share tips for all the startup founders who read my blog and want to learn more about how to acquire the domain name they are looking for. While a good domain can be very powerful, at the end of the day it’s a great team that is capable of executing on an incredible idea that makes all the difference., and were never wildly valuable domains, but what the founders did with them turned them into game-changing companies.

This weekend I’ll be mentoring startups at the Silicon Beach Hackathon and watching some amazing teams build cool stuff in less than three days. Looking forward to seeing what everyone builds!

Photo Credit: hackNY via Compfight cc

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Joe June 14, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Truly realistic as always, start up from my experience it is difficult according to countries due to the credit crisis and the austerity of the banks, not the tap of their vaults, always the same problem now,. expected tomorrow, and at the end thinking between oneself because wasting time. Now a start up also with private investors to test business angels in Spain everything is difficult because here only be words and never facts, the only benefit large companies are like a lottery draw always touch the fat and be Euro-millionaires credits lack of three years for more joke, only paying interest and after three years the company closed temporarily for loss in production, is what being going on for five years and still have 5 more as the EU political economists to Spain.
    So look for another country to my gTLD domain names, products, services, innovative ideas and projects online.
    I wish you well with all to start up and become entrepreneurs in Silicon Beach Hackathon.
    Good weekend for Daina and for you

  • Cate Colgan June 14, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Spending time at StartUp Weekends/Hackathons/ and hopefully FinishUp Weekends? 🙂 working with folks from 14-65 inspires me daily – love this space and love strategizing with and on their behalf as well – Have fun mentoring this weekend Morgan and can’t wait to see what they build as well!

  • Louise June 15, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Was this a pun? “It’s not all fund and games.” Bad – very bad!!! 😉

  • chris June 16, 2013, 2:27 pm

    > more domain acquisition horror stories than I could shake a stick at

    it’s so unfortunate that the domain market is such a wild west. I’d have been underway with a great project three years ago had a seller not decided to treble his asking price, having noted my ownership of another similar domain. It kicked off a remarkable series of mishaps and I’m only now, enthusiasm rather diminished, getting around to it.

    • Morgan June 16, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Hi @Chris – so sorry to hear this. I would be very interested in having you share your story and would love to help you any way that I can. Sending you an email right now!

  • Paul June 18, 2013, 3:09 pm

    This was a great article. I enjoy reading about startups and how they got their names. In particular I’m always shocked to see such good startups with horrible names, like they just settled for what’s out there. And I have always found that one aspect of the domain name biz very disheartening, the arrogance of some domain owners to never reply. I get it, if it’s a low baller they deserve no reply but being a jerk for no reason simply because you can is just being a bully. Thanks for the article…

    • Morgan June 18, 2013, 3:18 pm

      Glad you liked it Paul!


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