Startups are picking some interesting domains when the .COM is taken

A lot of startups want to brand around a single word. From a branding standpoint it makes sense, a single word can be powerful and carry a lot of meaning and authority. At the same time, there really isn’t a “normal” paths that startups follow when their exact-match .COM is either taken.

What I think we’ve seen happen more and more lately is startups gravitating towards non .COM extensions like .CO, .IO and more context-specific options like .TECH and .FINANCE. At the same time, some startups decide to get creative and try adding a word like “get” to the beginning of their name or “HQ” to the end.

Today I found a startup that took a path I haven’t ever seen before, it’s a company called Frank and they’re branding on WithFrank.org.

WithFrank.org

It’s clear the somewhat quirky domain choice hasn’t seem to have impacted their business or funding as the company has raised over $20M so far from a solid list of VCs.

Out of curiosity I went to Frank.com and saw that it’s owned by Microstrategy a company with over 2,000 employees that does over $500M in year in business. It looks like Microstrategy is actually selling a handful of solid one-word .COMs:

Microstrategy Domains

I wonder if Frank has reached out to them yet or if that’s something they’re thinking of later down the road. This is the first startup I’ve seen add the word “with” in front of their name and add it to a .ORG. Funny enough, the company also owns WithFrank.com but they forward it to their .ORG name 🤷‍♂️

It’s going to be interesting to see how things change over the next 5-10 years. Will startups gravitate more towards sticking with the word they want in another TLD or will we end up with a lot of companies that have domains that start with “with” and “get” or end in “HQ” – only time will tell.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Ray December 15, 2020, 2:20 pm

    Microstrategy is the company that sold voice.com for $30m so they would probably have a very high asking price for Frank.com.
    One needs very deep pockets to be able to afford one of their names!

    Reply
    • Morgan December 16, 2020, 6:43 pm

      @Ray – good catch and true, given that they priced Voice.com at $30M my guess is Frank.com is probably up there!

      Reply
  • RaTHeaD December 15, 2020, 2:25 pm

    i’m sure microstrategy would come off Frank.com for $50 million or so. After letting Voice.com for a paltry $30 million Saylor isn’t looking to dump these names.

    Reply
  • @domains December 15, 2020, 3:20 pm

    Makes me think if a company is ever after one of your domains, if you can’t agree on price ask them if they have any domains in their possession that they would trade. Seems like a lot of mid to very large companies have their own portfolio of domains, with many that aren’t core to their business. Might be an opportunity to trade up.

    Reply

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