Yesterday afternoon, Bloomberg reported that Calm, a popular meditation app, is looking to raise a round of funding at a $2.2 billion valuation. While Calm is an app, it also owns its brand match Calm.com domain name. It has owned Calm.com for many years, and that may have made a difference in its initial upward trajectory.
One of the early investors in Calm was Jason Calacanis, a venture capitalist and startup founder/advisor. Jason is also quite familiar with domain names. Some domain names he has owned or been involved with include 20.com, Inside.com, Annotated.com, and Mahalo.com.
Late last night on Twitter, Jason was reminiscing about his early $378,000 investment in Calm:
how it started: how it’s going: pic.twitter.com/5pAWMT2Z3Z
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@Jason) October 14, 2020
One of the primary reasons cited was the domain name. In a Medium blog post in 2014, Jason shared more insight into this investment. In the article, here’s what he wrote about Calm’s domain name: “exceptional branding (a four-letter domain name that’s in the dictionary!).”
My bet is the story may have been different if Calm did not own Calm.com but had something like CalmApp.com. The branding of Calm would have been nice, but it would have been lacking its most obvious Internet presence. Had the startup not had its brand match domain name at the time, it would have grown in value – perhaps quite substantially. Alternatively, it might have been acquired or otherwise used by a different company with the Calm branding.
Calm is a great app and has had a fantastic run. Like many businesses in its field, I am sure Calm has grown leaps and bounds since the beginning of the pandemic. I would imagine the founders of Calm caught Jason’s eye with its Calm.com domain name and branding, and the rest is history.