James Iles

Which Extension Was Most Popular With Startups in 2016?

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By James Iles, Jan 9, 2017
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Trusted Blogger Business Account VIP

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    For brand new startups, domains are usually a necessity to show potential clients and potential investors exactly what they offer, and why they’re different from the rest. The domain names of valuable startups have often been analysed, but what about brand new startups? We decided to take a look at the domain names of startups that were founded in 2016.

    Untitled-1.jpg
    We used Crunchbase to download the appropriate data. Crunchbase is essentially a database of companies of all different sizes that provides some great insights along with details on funding rounds, industry trends and more. Through Crunchbase, we found domains for 948 companies that had been created between August 1st 2016 and November 24th 2016.

    I think that this will be a fascinating insight into the current registration habits and trends of domain names used by brand new startups. The majority of these startups have zero funding listed on their Crunchbase profile, so their domain names would have either been new registrations, or acquired for a relatively low amount on the aftermarket. Will these companies stick with .COM, or are there many other alternatives being creatively used here?

    The answer seems to be that the overwhelming majority are still using .COM. In total, 66.45% of all the companies we looked at are using .COM. The majority seem to be choosing a longer .COM over a shorter new gTLD or other extension. There are an incredible amount of companies using two or three-word .COM’s over registering shorter alternatives in other extensions. There’s also a number of companies who are choosing abbreviated .COM’s over other extensions. For example, a company called Rainbow chose rnbw.com over using the keyword “rainbow” in another extension.

    The .COM extension has an enormous majority here, but there are seventy-three other domain extensions in use by the companies in our list. The second most popular extension after .COM is .CO, with 5.9% of our list using a .CO. It looks as though .CO is used as a cheaper alternative to .COM, with some businesses opting to buy a short .CO over a long .COM.

    After .CO is .IO with 4.85%. The .IO extension has long been considered a fashionable alternative to .COM within the startup community. Morgan Linton recently wrote about one startup who actually preferred .IO to .COM (http://morganlinton.com/some-startups-prefer-io-to-com/).

    Aside from these three extensions, there’s a surprisingly high usage of country code extensions (ccTLDs). According to the list, 10% of companies are establishing their web presence on their local country code domain. These include six .US, twelve .CO.UK or .UK, and forty .IN names. The .IN extension is heavily used in India, and this could reflect the growing power of India’s startup community.

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    A chart showing the most popular extensions
    As you might expect, there are plenty of companies using new domain extensions (new gTLDs), too. A large amount of the new gTLD names on our list look to have been acquired for a standard registration fee, versus a three or four figure premium registration and renewal price.

    The list includes four .XYZ, two .WORLD, three .TECH and two .CHAT names. Several other extensions were used, including a New York based startup using .NYC and a startup offering affordable legal advice by using the domain community.lawyer.

    It seems that lower level startups in general do take a more creative approach when it comes to their online branding. In the beginning, whilst .COM is still king, alternative extensions are widely used. Remember, these are brand new startups, and many of them have very little funding available to warrant spending money on a domain. We’ve seen in the past that once startups do receive funding, many opt to upgrade their names to either a shorter alternative or a .COM that was previously unobtainable.

    Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide you with a full list of the startups we analysed, since the data was acquired using a Crunchbase Pro subscription. However, we are sharing a chart showing the ten most popular domain extensions from our list.
     
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all enquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 310th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (32)

  6. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com NamePros Supporter

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  7. Bros

    Bros Active Member VIP

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  8. satyadeep singh

    satyadeep singh Established Member

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    Thanks, which new gTLD most sell on 2016 is it .CO OR .IO
     
  9. elevator

    elevator Member VIP

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  10. elevator

    elevator Member VIP

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    I observed you seperated all the ccTLDs. I supposed they are in one place to really know their usage percentage as one ccTLDs.
     
  11. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador Business Account VIP

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    Great article!

    For those interested in keeping up on startup extensions and funding on a weekly and monthly basis, Doron Vermaat at DNgeek has a great weekly blog series that covers this topic very nicely as well.
     
  12. wesley sweatman

    wesley sweatman durfer

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    great read, thank you. I think .xyz was in because of the long promo running with them though.
     
  13. wesley sweatman

    wesley sweatman durfer

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    I'm guilty of at least 50 xyz domains hahaha
     
  14. LeDomain

    LeDomain Established Member

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    Good to see .in emerge. Thanks for the article. Highly untapped India's digital market is set for double digit growth along with high gdp growth.
     
  15. wesley sweatman

    wesley sweatman durfer

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    I believe your right, LeDomain, I'm very interested in seeing what happens in the .in market.
     
  16. CHB777888

    CHB777888 Established Member

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    Thanks James! Excellent analysis! Could you share the list of "companies using two or three-word .COM’s"? I think that detailed information would really help your readers. Cheers!
     
  17. London555

    London555 Active Member VIP

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    Thanks James as always great. It's interesting to see the rise of .in with India's enormous population. While recently looking to add to our .in names we noticed that some Chinese are buying this extension and not just a few.
     
  18. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN Business Account Business Account VIP

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  19. Sulabh Sharma

    Sulabh Sharma Established Member

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    Great research! Thank you for sharing it.
     
  20. disaac81

    disaac81 Active Member VIP

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    No surprise with .com domination. Nothing else compares. Some other extensions work ok, like io, as long as the startup realizes the potential drawback of not being seen as the king of niche they are in.

    I have seen some using .in when they are not even operating in India...a real mistake, which they will either remedy, or simply fail.

    Branding power plays on our instincts and tethers us in via many gateways, including conscious and the subconscious. Having a .com is a no brainer for most. If they cannot afford it at first, it is good to see some creativity, then with success the .com often comes later.
     
  21. Steven McEvoy

    Steven McEvoy Established Member

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    I actually started a website with .christmas on jan 1st
     
  22. whatrudwnfor

    whatrudwnfor Established Member

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  23. Kassey Lee

    Kassey Lee Coreile | 域名世界 Business Account VIP

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    In China, the situation is similar. The next generation of entrepreneurs still prefer .com. 76% of 2016 Top 300 New Internet Companies use .com, followed by 16% for .cn. Read details of my study in the following two posts: Coreile.com/p160715 and Coreile.com/p160716.
     
  24. elevator

    elevator Member VIP

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    Nice Xmas site Congratulations. Before next Christmas the site could have been well known. Cheers
     
  25. doubleU

    doubleU Top Member VIP

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    .io seems like a fad and will not suit most future start-ups
     
  26. London555

    London555 Active Member VIP

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    I think to have real value in a pinyin name and to bring real money you must own both the .com and .cn for "brand protection" .unless of course it's caifu.com etc
     
  27. London555

    London555 Active Member VIP

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    Kassey-that's a total of 92% .com and .cn why even bother to invest in any others IF you're looking at the China market? The one and only one we feel may have a future and only if they get China approval is .ws because and please correct me if im wrong "ws" will be seen/read as "website" in China. Thank you.
     
  28. garptrader

    garptrader Active Member VIP

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    It is interesting to note the extensions that startups most frequently use. However, from lists I have seen of startups and their domains, it seems like most are selecting reg fee domains. So whether they use .COM, CCTLD or a new TLD, few domainers stand to benefit.
     
  29. 168

    168 Active Member VIP

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    First, .co and .io are country codes not new gTLD. :)

    .co sold 1% more than .io.

    .io is used mostly by techs for the meaning of in/out What I call niche use. I agree with doubleU, could be a fad vs long term.
    The .io is competing with .tech now too.

    .co has a much broader use for start-ups.
    Happy Hunting
     
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