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James Iles

Inside Interview: Behind Vroom's $75,000 Acquisition of Vroom.com

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By James Iles, Feb 16, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Vroom is a car brand that is making waves in the automotive industry by working to make the car buying process easier. It's website, on the domain name Vroom.com, has become one of the largest online car stores in the United States. Customers and investors love the brand, with over $168 million of funding raised in the last year. In 2016, the company aims to hit the $1 billion revenue mark, which is quite a feat for a company that's around three years old.

    What's more interesting from a domain investment point of view is the fact that the company acquired Vroom.com just over 12 months ago for a price of $75,000 via the DomainNameSales platform. This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Allon Bloch, the current CEO of Vroom and former co-CEO of web development service Wix.com.


    allon.jpg
    Allon Bloch
    Since the Vroom brand has been running since 2013, I asked Allon how they chose the name "Vroom," and what their customers thought of the name:

    We were thinking long and hard about a name, and a candidate that we had came up with it. We did consider quite a few other names. It's difficult to find a short name that you like, with a domain name that's available.

    The customers love the brand name. It reminds them of when they were kids and they were playing with toy cars!

    Vroom.com has an Alexa ranking of just over 20,000 in the US, making it one of the most popular automotive websites in existence. With that in mind, I asked Allon how important it was to acquire such a memorable domain:

    It was critical to buy. You want to make the domain name memorable and easy. We proactively sought out the domain name and paid $75,000. We actively sought out the domain name and acquired it because we felt it would be vital to our online presence.

    $75,000 may not seem like a large amount of money in consideration of the $168 million that was raised by the company, but how did Allon and the Vroom team determine the value of the domain name Vroom.com before acquiring it? Allon said, "It's really more art than science. It was expensive compared to other domain names, but it was worth it."

    Would they have considered paying more than $75,000 to acquire Vroom.com? "It's hard to say, especially after the fact. Now, it's a part of our brand and worth a lot," Allon explained.

    According to Crunchbase, Vroom's first funding round was in June 2015, which was four months after acquiring the domain Vroom.com. I wanted to know whether Allon considered procurement of the domain Vroom.com to be critical before proceeding with securing funding: "No, but the domain name is part of the brand story. We raised funding because we have a great business and a huge growth potential," Allon said.

    Aside from his role within Vroom, Allon is a venture partner at Greylock Partners. In the past, he has been the CEO of web development platform Wix.com and the CEO of the online shopping marketplace mySupermarket.com. With all of this experience in online brands behind him, Allon is in a position to give advice to startups and companies looking for success online.

    I asked him whether he has any advice for startups regarding domain acquisitions that he'd like to share. Is the right domain name key to online success? Allon left us with these thoughts:

    Since it's super difficult to find great domains that are easily pronounceable, relevant for your business, and available, you need to be realistic that this is tough. But, like anything else at a startup, if you work hard at it and you are creative, you will figure it out.


    This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


    Inside Interviews is a blog series profiling the buyers of high-value domain names. Find out their motives, negotiation tactics, and their opinions on popular domaining topics only on the NamePros Blog.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 151st blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (10)

  6. Acroplex

    Acroplex Top Member DomainGang.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Vrooooooom.com is the first available, with 7 "o" letters. :D
     
  7. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    @Acroplex VroomVroomVroom.com is also a developed brand!
     
  8. dotbay

    dotbay BrandChimp.com VIP

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    Mazda slogan Zoom Zoom Zoom translate to Vroom Vroom Vroom for French Canadians
     
  9. garptrader

    garptrader Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It is good to hear there are a few rare companies who actually do place a value on branding and are willing to spend five figures on a brandable domain. Let us not forget this is a 5-character .COM (but it does have two vowels :)
     
  10. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer Active Member PRO VIP

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    They might think about buying Varoom.com as a defensive play. It's for sale.
     
  11. techname

    techname Established Member

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    Can't help reading this as V room rather than vroom. I guess once the brand becomes better known I will associate it with the sound a car makes, rather than something to do with housing or hotels.
    Maybe, they should lower case the v.
     
  12. nvdomains

    nvdomains Established Member

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    It is always wonderful to know about the thoughts of end users. Thank you for interview.
     
  13. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    Nice acquisition and a workable team behind a nice name. Congrats and Cheers.
     
  14. Vijay Suryawanshi

    Vijay Suryawanshi Established Member

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    Congratulation - Vroom.com
     
  15. DOMAIN ILLUMINATI

    DOMAIN ILLUMINATI Owner of ▲ the most expensive domain of all time. Gold Account

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    Great interview / domain / sale.

    There are existing 'vrooom's' (as domains) in 'different lengths'.
    Currently I am the proud owner of the 'longest vrooom' - which is:

    vroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom.com
    1 v / 1 r / 60 o's / 1 m / TLD .com
    63 characters = most possible ammount of characters in a domain name
    63.DOMAIN

    I am curious who will buy it.
    Will it bring us to vroom.com in future?
    Lets wait and see!
     
Lysted
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