When I think about the branding of 21 Inc. (aka 21.co) without any knowledge of the company, the only thing that really comes to mind is blackjack. 21.co is arguably a nice, short .CO domain name, but 21 doesn’t really say much about its brand. The company appears to have solved this brand issue by rebranding as Earn.com, according to an internal news article on its website.
Not only is Earn.com a short and meaningful domain name, it easily explains what the company does. Here’s how the company explained its rebranding:
“Our product is unchanged: you still earn digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks, and you can still earn tokens for signing up for our token launch later this year. But we think “Earn.com” gets that concept across more quickly than “21.co”, especially to folks who are new to digital currency.”
I agree with their rationale. Even without much insight into its business model, I think the new branding resonates with what the company’s goal is. People presumably sign up to earn extra money for themselves or for charity, and Earn is the perfect branding for what they do.
From what I can see, it looks like the Earn.com domain name was acquired recently. Prior to the Whois becoming private around October 14, 2017, the domain name was registered to CSC, a corporate brand protection service. Archive.org shows the domain name recently had a “for sale” landing page to notify visitors that the domain name was available for sale. Looking back through Archive.org, the domain has been used for a few different things over the years. It appears to have been owned by a company called The Company Corporation, which I believe is associated with CSC.
I looked through my emails, and I do not see any record of a domain broker actively marketing Earn.com via email. This means I have no idea the asking price nor would I know what was paid to acquire Earn.com. If I had to venture a guess, I would say the domain name was acquired for anywhere from high six figures to low seven figures. According to Crunchbase, the company has received over $121 million in funding, so it would make sense for them to be able to make an investment of this magnitude.
I think Earn.com was a smart rebrand.
Thanks to Ammar Kubba for sharing this on Twitter.