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. 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. A chart showing the most popular extensionsAs 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.