Over the weekend, CNN published an article written by Loy Okezie that covered 10 African startups that rocked 2014. In the opinion of the author, the ten companies that were profiled “are 10 of the most exciting young companies of the year.” From a domain name perspective, the most interesting aspect of the article to me is that 4 of the 10 startups that were profiled use .CO domain names for their websites. Additionally, 6 of the 10 companies do not use .com domain names for their websites.
Here is a list of the 10 startups that were profiled in this article, as well as the domain names they are using:
- Sendy – Sendy.co.ke
- Angani – Angani.CO
- Irofit – Irofit.com
- Wyzetalk – Wyzetalk.com
- Gamsole – Gamsole.com
- Snapscan – Snapscan.co.za
- Delivery Science – DeliveryScience.CO
- Paysail – Paysail.CO
- Andela – Andela.CO
- BRCK – BRCK.com
I did Whois searches for the matching .com domain names that are used by the .CO startups, and it does not appear that any of these companies own the matching .com domain names. I presume the .com domain names may have been registered prior to the creation of these companies. Interestingly, Paysail.com is currently listed for sale on Sedo with a buy it now price of $2,999. It would probably be a good idea for that company to buy the matching .com, even if they choose to continue using .CO.
In my opinion, people outside of the United States are more apt to look to the right of the dot than those of us in the US because of the prevalence of country code domain names in many other countries. In my travels abroad, I notice many more ccTLDs used by local and national businesses than I see here in the US. As you can see in the list, two of the companies are already using country code domain names – .co.ke for Kenya and co.za for South Africa.
It’s always interesting to see what domain names startups are using, and I would be interested in seeing if this is a wider trend in the African startup space.
Thanks to .CO for sharing via Twitter.