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Kernel, With $100MM in Funding, is Using a .CO Domain

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The other day I read some tech industry headlines about Kernel, “a human intelligence (HI) company developing the world’s first neuroprosthesis to mimic, repair and improve cognition.” According to TechCrunch, the founder of Kernel is going to be investing $100 million into this startup. Interestingly, as highlighted by Doron Vermaat on Twitter yesterday, the company is using the Kernel.CO domain name for its website:

A  Whois search shows that Kernel.CO was created

I Don’t Get .Web Domain Names

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Earlier this morning, Andrew Allemann broke the news that the auction for the .Web new gTLD extension “has concluded with a $135 million price.” I really don’t understand why .Web is so appealing that an entity reportedly paid 9 figures for the rights to operate the extension.

In my opinion, Internet-related terms such as “web” and “world wide web” are less widely used today than years ago. Web seems almost passé , in my opinion, although the longer term “website” is still used by pretty much everyone.

I did a Google Trends search of “web,” and the results seem to corroborate my opinion on this. Aside from a slight increase in the last couple of years, there has been a significant downward slope for “web,” as you can see from this screenshot I took:

.CO Hits 2 Million Registrations

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Because .CO keeps its registration numbers private, I haven’t been able to keep track of how many .CO domain names are currently registered. I just learned that there are now over 2 million registered .CO domain names.

According to a press release I received from Neustar, the company that operates the .CO domain registry, “.CO has surpassed 2 million total domain names under management.” Interestingly, the growth rate for new registrations grew from 10 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2015. I would imagine quite a bit of this strong growth is due to investment from Chinese domain name buyers. I don’t know if there is an easy way to track how much of an impact the Chinese market has had on registration numbers though.

In addition to the Chinese registration component, .CO has been very well accepted in the startup space. My perspective is that there is still a “coolness” factor associated with .CO domain names. For instance, Taco Bell recently announced a TA.CO website launch and social marketing campaign. Other major Internet companies like Twitter and Google also prominently use .CO domain names.

Congratulations to Neustar and the .CO management team on this achievement.

Here is the press release I received:

Taco Bell Promoting Ta.co

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It looks like Taco Bell is promoting its new website and Ta.co domain name on Twitter. If you have a look at Taco Bell’s Twitter page, you can see the company has a Ta.co graphic background, and the avatar also has a Ta.co logo. The promoted url is also Ta.co.

Ta.co

When you visit Ta.co, you are redirected to Taco Bell’s website, which can be found on TacoBell.com. I think this is a simple marketing tactic to capitalize on the short ta.co url. Here’s what the company says about Ta.co on its website:

Here’s How Apple is Using Apple.CO

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I use DomainTools to track the domain name acquisitions of several major companies. I find it interesting to see what these companies are either buying in the aftermarket or hand registering, and I also think these acquisitions can provide insight for my business or become fodder for an article on this blog.

As you might expect, Apple makes quite a bit of domain name purchases. Most of the domain names I track are brand-related domain names. Many seem to be of a defensive nature. For instance, Apple is buying quite a few new gTLD domain names and ccTLD domain names related to products and other trademarks. For the most part, it doesn’t seem like Apple is using many of these domain names (for instance, you can see AppleNews.Taipei and MacbookPro.online aren’t resolving).

One domain name that is

SuperYachts.com Covers Y.CO Launch

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In September of 2013, a luxury yacht company announced that it had acquired the single letter Y.CO domain name from the .CO Registry. The firm had previously used ycoyacht.com for its url. The acquisition price Y.CO paid remains private.

This morning, Ben Roberts of SuperYachts.com published an article about Y.CO and the launch of its website. In the article, Roberts discussed the Y.CO domain name that the company acquired and how it helps position the company:

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