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Alloy Acquires Alloy.com and Rebrands

Late last year, I detected an ownership change for Alloy.com via the DomainTools Whois Monitor tool. As I reported on Twitter at the time, the domain name was transferred to Tucows under Whois privacy. Alloy.com began forwarding to Alloy.CO, an identity verification platform. Previously, the Alloy.com domain name had been owned by Hearst Communications.

Alloy, the company that operated on Alloy.CO, had recently announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round. At that time, the company had raised a total of $55.8 million in funding since its founding in 2015. It does not appear that the company has raised additional funding since then.

Earlier today, Alloy announced a major corporate rebrand, including a new logo and website. The company discussed the rebrand in a blog post:

JonOssoff.com: Damaging to Jon Ossoff Campaign?


Jon Ossoff is a Democratic Party politician running for United States Senate in one of two run-off elections in the state of Georgia. Mr. Ossoff uses the short ElectJon.com domain name for his campaign website. This is a solid call to action domain name for his campaign, but I do not believe it is the ideal domain name for him. I believe the matching JonOssoff.com domain name would be better. Unfortunately, someone beat Mr. Ossoff to the punch, and even more unfortunate for his campaign, it is being used against him by a rival political organization:

Trove Becomes Pave After Payfone Becomes Prove

Over the Summer, I wrote about a major rebrand involving an exceptional one word .com domain name. A company called Payfone rebranded as Prove, and it acquired the matching Prove.com domain name at the time of the rebrand. The company formerly known as Payfone also owned an additional exceptional one word .com domain name – Pave.com.

I read a press release yesterday announcing another rebrand that I found interesting. A startup called Trove, which had been operating on the off-brand .CO domain name, TryTrove.CO, announced a rebrand to Pave. The rebrand announcement came as the business announced that “it raised $16 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).” Smartly, the company acquired Pave.com in advance of the launch and now has the brand match .com domain name along with the new branding.

Calm.com Caught the Attention of Jason Calacanis

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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:

Downside of Using Generic Keyword for Branding

There are quite a few successful brands that simply use a dictionary word for branding. When a company builds its brand around a popular keyword, I always recommend getting the brand match .com domain name. The downside to branding on a generic term, especially when the brand match .com domain name is not owned by the company, is the potential for confusion.

I want to illustrate this with a pair of TechCrunch tweets from today and yesterday. The tweets link to articles about companies that use the generic term “Frame” in their branding and announced that they raised outside capital:

LiveChat CMO Comments on LiveChat.com Acquisition

LiveChat is an online customer service software provider offering live chat support that can be utilized by its clients on their websites. The company was founded in 2002, and it has been using the less than ideal LiveChatInc.com domain name for its website. Earlier this week, LiveChat sent an email to customers announcing that it migrated its website to the brand match LiveChat.com domain name. LiveChat CEO Mariusz Cieply also announced the news via Twitter:

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