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My Favorite Domain Names on Y Combinator’s 2019 Top Companies List

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Jamie Zoch shared a link on Twitter to Y Combinator’s 2019 Top Companies List. He mentioned that most of the companies own their brand match .com domain names, which is no surprise to me:

Datasafe Rebrands as Destruction.com

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A Boston-area company announced via press release that it was rebranding its business with a descriptive domain name. Datasafe Information Security, which was founded in 1990 and will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, is rebranding as Destruction.com.

Since the company was founded, it’s primary focus of shredding documents has grown beyond paper shredding. The company now offers a variety of destruction services, including electronics, counterfeit or defective products, expired foods, and more. With its expanded focus, I think the Destruction.com branding is stronger and better describes its services.

MicroStrategy CEO Comments About Domain Names

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MicroStrategy (MSTR on NASDAQ) held its earnings conference call on July 30, 2019. As you likely know, MicroStrategy sold Voice.com for $30 million in the second quarter of 2019. This was the largest all-cash domain name sale of all time, and it had an impact on the company’s earnings.

During the conference call yesterday, MicroStrategy CEO Michael J. Saylor made some comments about the sale of Voice.com. He also offered some insight about the valuation of domain names.

You can read the entire transcript on Yahoo Finance, but below is an excerpt with Mr. Saylor’s comments about Voice.com and the value of great domain names:

Great Domain Names Are… Boundless

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TechCrunch reported on a startup called Boundless that raised a $7.8 million Series A round of funding. Boundless is an “online green card application support services,” and the company uses its brand match .com domain name, Boundless.com.

I did a bit of research on the history of the Boundless.com domain name to see when the startup was able to acquire it. Because the domain name has been registered under Whois privacy for several years at Namecheap, I can’t see when the company acquired the domain name. To try and peg down when the company acquired the domain name, I used Archive.org to see what was on the domain name and when. Here’s what I found:

ContractHireAndLeasing.com Rebrands as Leasing.com

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A company called ContractHireAndLeasing.com recently rebranded as Leasing.com. The announcement was made in a LinkedIn post and video shared by the company and its founder late last week:

Wing.com Acquired by X, Google’s “Moonshot Factory”

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In late July, I noticed a couple of interesting changes related to the Wing.com domain name. Those changes were noted in a tweet I sent out:

Wing.com had been owned by a company called Wing Inflatables. This Summer, I saw that the domain name transferred to MarkMonitor, a brand protection company and domain registrar used by many large companies. When someone visited Wing.com, they reached a temporary landing page informing them that they were going to be forwarded to a different website (I believe it was InflatableSolutions.com).

When I saw this, I speculated that the domain name may have been acquired by X, a research and development company operated by Google’s parent company, Alphabet (colloquially referred to as “The Moonshot Factory”). Wing is an independent company that was incubated within X, and it would have made sense for X to have acquired the Wing.com domain name for this business.

At the time of my tweet, I reached out to Wing Inflatables to ask if the company sold Wing.com. I did not receive a response to my query.

A couple of days ago, I checked in on Wing.com, and I noticed that it is being used by X’s Wing. The domain name is now registered to DNStination, Inc., the privacy proxy service operated by MarkMonitor. It would appear that X did, in fact, acquire the Wing.com domain name. I reached out to Google’s Press office, but I did not hear back from the group yet (update – see below)

If I had to venture a guess, I would say that this was a mid to high six figure sale – and perhaps as high as seven figures. The former registrant had to change its web presence and marketing, including a change of email addresses. This is not easy nor without risk, so I presume this valuable domain name was quite expensive.

With Google’s willingness to use new gTLD domain names like ABC.xyz and X.Company, it is always interesting to see the company buy a domain name like Wing.com.

Update: I heard back from Google this afternoon, but the company has no comment about the domain name.

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