Tango.me Raises $280M And No, They Don’t Own The .COM

I have written a lot about the incredible surge in successful startups building their brands on TLDs like .CO, .ME, and .IO and yesterday another .ME startup, Tango.me, made big moves raising a whopping $280 million dollars. So what is Tango? Like WhatsApp it’s a messaging app and its growth number are pretty phenomenal.


Tango currently has over 200 million registered users with 70 million active monthly users. These numbers are about double what they were last year which is why investors are so excited about what they are doing.

The most interesting detail of this current round of funding is who leads it, Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant. Yes, it looks like there might have been a bit of jealousy when Facebook acquired WhatsApp and with $230M of the $280M raise coming from Alibaba it is clear they are ready to tango, with Facebook that is.

Let’s face it one of these companies is probably going to end-up acquiring the other, right? Or will Snapchat just buy them all? Either way the battle of the messaging apps is well underway.

Tango is another great example of how an incredibly successful startup can start, build and grow all on a .ME domain name. I love .COM as much as the next and when it comes to investing in domains I think that is where you should put your money. However it is more clear now than ever than ever that startups have more options than ever and as we are seeing more and more, .COM isn’t always the right answer.

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • fd March 20, 2014, 9:13 am

    But what does it mean? It means its possible to build on other extensions but it also says, whoever owns Tango.COM has a great asset in his hands, thanks to Tango.me rise. This cannot be said if this was a reversed situation.

  • Chris March 20, 2014, 9:14 am

    Not to discredit app makers but I think you need to separate the mobile app startups from other startups.

    I think many of the app startups have decided that they can build on just about any domain because their users will be finding them in the app stores at Apple and Google. It isn’t nearly as important for them where their domain sits extension wise. In fact I see a trend on Crunch Base for many app startups where they are simply adding “get” to their app name on .com as well.

    If you look at most of the non-app startups on Crunch Base, I think you will see the majority are still sitting on .com or their individual cctld if they are not global.

  • Nick March 20, 2014, 10:21 am

    Invest in .me and .io Startups will come calling.. 🙂

  • Rahul March 20, 2014, 10:49 am

    I used to own Attach.me. Recently sold it to someone. Time has come for dot me domains. What I believe is B2B companies will go with .io and B2C companies will choose .me domains.

    • Morgan March 23, 2014, 7:37 pm

      @Rahul – I completely agree. I have seen a nice spike in inquires on my own .ME domains, definitely getting even hotter in the startup world esp. for app-makers.

  • Morgan March 20, 2014, 11:03 am

    @Chris – completely agree, I did a post specifically about this here – http://morganlinton.com/why-app-makers-care-less-about-com/

  • Joe March 20, 2014, 11:06 am

    At the end of the extension is the least interesting thing also is the name of the keyword to the activity you want to start.

    From my point of view so read this post and others in this blog.

    Thanks Morgan, you give us to understand that we have to think the generation to come.

  • @Domains March 20, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Interesting that Tango.com directs to a Facebook page of a company that sells a drink called Tango. A nice generic domain like that should have its own website.

    I don’t know if .com isn’t always the right answer, I’m sure if Tango.com had been available this app company wouldn’t be using Tango.me. These startups are using other extensions not because it’s the right anwer, but because they don’t have a choice at this stage of the game, with premium .com’s hard to acquire. Maybe with the $280 million funding they’ll go after the .com. Like another said with an app-based company the domain might not be as critical. If Tango.me was a startup that sold a product on a website (ie: dependent on website sales), they would be losing traffic without owning the .com of their name.

  • Ron March 20, 2014, 12:34 pm

    No idea how this company raised this much money, but I started using Tango about 6 months ago, after a friend forwarded it to me. Many of the users who I had in my circle stopped using it, and dropped off of it. The app then became extremely spammy, and I deleted it.

    Not every domain can be had, somethings in this world are just not for sale, sure throw enough money there way, and you will get their number. If I was that company, I would ask $1M and thensome for the name.

  • All Access March 21, 2014, 5:59 am

    Promising news. We’re a startup named All Access, LLC and of course the dot com was taken. But we got AllAccess.US, and AccessUS.US and AccessME.ME, as well as AllAcc.es to hedge our bets. Our app lets businesses be more accessible, so “Access Us” or “Access Me” is a natural fit… like “Follow Us” or “Like Us”

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