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James Iles

6 Companies That Excelled After Switching to a One-Word .Com Domain Name

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By James Iles, Apr 24, 2017
  1. Company domain name upgrades are fairly common. The domain industry regularly hears reports of companies making the monumental step to upgrade their domain name to help to bring their online brand to another level.

    Domain name purchases can be expensive, but as our interviews within our Inside Interview series have shown on numerous occasions, buying the right domain name can impact vastly on a brand’s popularity.

    Here, we take a look at six high profile companies who eventually acquired a premium domain.


    SlackHQ.com to Slack.com

    Slack is one of the most famous collaboration tools on the market today. It’s used by many organisations to improve team collaboration including LinkedIn, Samsung and Harvard University.

    Since launching in 2009, Slack has attracted a lot of attention from venture capitalists, who have helped the company raise over $500 million, according to Crunchbase.

    Yet, the name Slack.com wasn’t acquired until 2013, when the company’s Co-founder Cal Henderson bought the name from a California based individual. Initially, Slack was hosted on SlackHQ.com.

    Today, Slack is a product widely used globally with Slack.com boasting an excellent Alexa ranking of 207.


    MyMint.com to Mint.com

    Created in 2006, Mint is a personal finance service that helps users to keep an eye on their income, outgoings and investments.

    The company was started by Aaron Patzer, a Princeton and Duke graduate who became frustrated with how difficult it was to use Intuit’s Quicken product.

    Mint started out with the domain name MyMint.com, acquired for $3,000 and as the company grew, Mint pursued Mint.com.

    oneword.jpg
    The Mint.com name proved difficult to buy, since it was owned by an investment banker who had used the name for a fund called Mint Investments.

    Ultimately, Mint.com was acquired in exchange for equity in the company’s Series A funding round. According to Aaron Patzer, the negotiations took three months, and were the most difficult negotiations he had encountered, but the ultimate prize was the Mint.com domain name.

    Mint was acquired by Intuit in 2009 for $170 million, and today Mint still offers financial services from the Mint.com domain.


    UberCab.com to Uber.com

    Uber is now a world famous brand, described as being a pioneer of the sharing economy. The company was created in 2009, originally branded as UberCab. Unsurprisingly, UberCab’s founders opted to use UberCab.com.

    In 2010 UberCab changed names to Uber, and acquired Uber.com from Universal Music Group in exchange for 2% equity, which Uber reacquired from Universal for $1 million at a later date. If Universal had kept their investment, it would have been worth $364 million in 2014.

    The switch from UberCab.com to Uber.com allowed Uber to move past car sharing into other product areas such food delivery and self driving cars. A smart move by Uber, which is more than we can say for Universal.

    As of writing, the domain is used by Uber to promote their services and to prompt visitors to register as an Uber driver.


    Twttr.com to Twitter.com

    The majority of regular Internet users will have at least heard of Twitter, the social media giant that amassed over 300 million active users as of 2016.

    Twitter plays an important part in the acquisition and distribution of news and opinions in our culture, but the service came from very humble beginnings, developed by New York University undergraduate student Jack Dorsey.

    Twitter started life as twttr, inspired by Flickr. It wasn’t until six months after launching that the domain name Twitter.com was acquired by the team for $7,500.

    Would the company be as large or as popular as it is today if it didn’t make the decision to switch from Twttr to Twitter?


    SumoMe.com to Sumo.com

    Founded in 2010, AppSumo is a daily deals website that achieved over $1 million in revenue. AppSumo’s newsletter quickly grew, and now boasts over one million subscribers.

    From AppSumo came SumoMe, a set of tools that help developers and site owners to power their site’s growth through email capture.

    The company used the domain name SumoMe.com for a number of years, but Sumo.com was always their target domain. In a deal that was seven years in the making, Sumo’s CEo Noah Kagan eventually got his domain in a deal worth $1.5 million.

    Noah explained his decision to buy Sumo.com in an excellent @DomainSherpa interview.


    GrabTaxi.com to Grab.com
    Singapore based GrabTaxi was founded in 2011 as Southeast Asia's answer to Uber. The company quickly expanded and attracted a large user base and eventually outgrew the GrabTaxi name.

    In January 2016, GrabTaxi announced the rebranding of GrabTaxi to Grab. The move reflected the company's dominance in Southeast Asia and gave them the opportunity to launch other products such as GrabPay, GrabShuttle and GrabBike.

    To coincide with the rebranding, GrabTaxi acquired Grab.com, as documented by Jamie Zoch (@Yofie) of DotWeekly. The Grab.com domain was sold to GrabTaxi by Grab Games, a Los Angeles based gaming company.

    Since then, Grab.com has been used as the corporate base for Grab, helping to promote the company's increasing number of services.
     
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry writer. Contact james (at) jamesiles.co.uk For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected] For James' own blog, visit JamesNames.com

    This is James Iles's 369th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (15)

  6. behindsun

    behindsun NameClix Gold Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Good info as usual
     
  7. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN QualityNames.com VIP

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    Thanks for Sharing
     
  8. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think the lesson is clear: successful companies usually have great names. And it's not by chance.
    They wouldn't be where they are now, had they stuck to their original domain names.
     
  9. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    1. They were lucky that the short version was available and/or reasonably priced
    2. It is risky to start like that and hope you'll acquire later if you are successful, as the price of shorter/better can grow by multiples based on your success.
     
  10. dordomai

    dordomai Top Contributor VIP

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    this would have been the best domain investment ever if they hadn't sold. Buy a single word generic, sell for equity worth hundreds of millions. who said that domains can't make you rich.
     
  11. fetariq

    fetariq Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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  12. NetworkPearl

    NetworkPearl Top Contributor VIP

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  13. Blueforever

    Blueforever Established Member

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  14. Justin Matmor

    Justin Matmor Top Contributor VIP

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    Great article. You did however leave out the biggest name change of all time.

    Facebook.com

    Prior to 2005 Facebook.com used to be called TheFacebook.com

    The name facebook.com was acquired for $200K in 2005
     
  15. DnEbook

    DnEbook DataGlasses.Com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Some standout reasons for change, twttr?
     
  16. kandyan

    kandyan Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing..
     
  17. Facebook is an excellent example of switching to a better domain name, but it's not a one-word .com domain name. ;)
     
  18. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com ICA Member

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    Thanks James, great article!
     
  19. MarkedMarket

    MarkedMarket Established Member

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    Personally I think it's a bit too optimistic to say that these companies excelled only after they acquired a good one-word .com domain.

    These companies were likely already quite successful before and that allowed them (or incentivized them) to buy a one-word .com.
     
  20. Smiles76

    Smiles76 Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing. The problem with these type of articles is that it was the domain that ultimately sold itself. Unfortunately, 99% of domainers don't own these type of domains and thus we can't duplicate their success. It would be a bit more helpful to see articles about domainers that the average domainer can relate to.
     
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