Generic Domain Names

Great Domain Names Are… Boundless

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

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”

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.

It’s Better for an Investor to Own a Domain Name

If you have been watching television during the last month or so, I am sure you have seen a Portal by Facebook television commercial like this one:

As a domain investor watching the advertisement, you probably noticed the clunky url for Portal by Facebook: Portal.Facebook.com. When you visit that url, you can see Facebook has branded its product “Portal,” and Portal has its own logo and brand identity. Unfortunately for Facebook, the company does not own the valuable brand match Portal.com domain name.

Portal.com does not resolve to an active website. A Whois search shows the Portal.com is owned by Oracle. Looking at Screenshots.com, I can see that there was once a landing page with an Oracle logo announcing that “Oracle has acquired Portal Software…

Ordinarily, when a domain name is

View Glass Gets More Funding and Gets View.com

Early this morning, Bloomberg reported that View, Inc., a maker of smart glass had received $1.1 billion in funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund. Prior to this announcement, Bloomberg reports, the company had received “about $800 million” in funding from other investors.

The news about this recent round of funding was tweeted out by Techmeme this evening:

I visited View.com to see if that is the domain name the company is using, and I saw a 404 error:

No Auction or Sale of Toys.com

Earlier this year, it looked like the Toys.com domain name was going to come up for sale again due to the Toys R’ Us bankruptcy. In fact, in May of this year, I wrote about the court documents that indicated Toys.com would be up on the auction block, after selling for $5.1 million in 2009.

It looks like the sale of Toys.com is not going to happen though. If you visit Toys.com, you can see a message on the landing page that says:

“Guess Who’s Back? Geoffrey’s back & ready to set play free for children of all ages.”

Clicking the “learn more” link takes visitors to a press release from early October announcing that the assets will be acquired by the creditors rather than sold to another entity:

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