Generic Domain Names

Startup with $19m in Funding Gets Less.com

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TechCrunch reported on a $19 million funding round for a startup called Less, “a ride-sharing service for commuters and other short distance rides.” The company was founded by Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, who reportedly founded “one of the most successful French startups,” Criteo. Smartly, Less is using the perfect domain name for this venture: Less.com.

When I noticed the url for Less, it rung a bell. I searched through my email, and I see that it had been offered for sale via several brokers. In 2015, Less.com was offered for sale via Brannans for $325,000. In 2016, I see an email from Mark Daniel of Domain Holdings who offered the domain name for sale without a price. In December of 2016, Brannans was once again offering the domain name for sale in its newsletter with a $160,000 price. Most recently, in August of this year, Brannans had Less.com in its newsletter as a “make offer” listing.

Based on Whois records, it appears that

Purple is Now on Purple.com

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Earlier this month, I reported the sale of the Purple.com domain name. When the sale was reported, all signs appeared to show that the mattress startup, Purple, had acquired the Purple.com domain name. This has been confirmed.

If you visit Purple.com today, you can see the mattress company is now using the domain name. If you visit OnPurple.com, the domain name that was previously used by the startup, you will be forwarded directly to Purple.com.

This domain name acquisition makes a ton of sense. When people hear of a company called Purple, they generally assume it can be found on Purple.com. Now, there

Confusing Company Name is Rebranded as Monday.com

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In an article published this morning, Business Insider wrote that “The Israeli project management startup Dapulse is changing its name after three years of people not understanding what its name means.” The company will now be called Monday.

A DomainTools historical Whois search shows that the domain name appears to have changed hands in early June of 2016. I do not see any public sale report on NameBio, so I am unsure of the purchase price of Monday.com.

The company explained why it rebranded as Monday.com in a YouTube video I embedded below:

21 Inc Wisely Rebrands as Earn.com

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When I think about the branding of 21 Inc. (aka 21.co) without any knowledge of the company, the only thing that really comes to mind is blackjack. 21.co is arguably a nice, short .CO domain name, but 21 doesn’t really say much about its brand. The company appears to have solved this brand issue by rebranding as Earn.com, according to an internal news article on its website.

Not only is Earn.com a short and meaningful domain name, it easily explains what the company does. Here’s how the company explained its rebranding:

“Our product is unchanged: you still earn digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks, and you can still earn tokens for signing up for our token launch later this year. But we think “Earn.com” gets that concept across more quickly than “21.co”, especially to folks who are new to digital currency.”

I agree with their rationale. Even without much insight into its business model, I think the new branding resonates with what the company’s goal is. People presumably sign up to earn extra money for themselves or for charity, and Earn is the perfect branding for what they do.

From what I can see, it looks like the Earn.com domain name was acquired

Cover Upgrades to Cover.com

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Cover is a free app that tracks insurance rates and allows people to “cover” (aka get coverage for) items like cars, homes, pets, jewelry and electronics after taking a photo of the item using their phone. Cover uses CoverInsurance.com for its website, although the company has also been using UseCover.com to forward to CoverInsurance.com. Smartly, it looks like the company secured the Cover.com domain name.

This morning, I noticed a Whois change on Cover.com. The domain name was previously owned by Digimedia, and it is now privately registered. When I visited Cover.com, it forwarded me to CoverInsurance.com. Because Digimedia doesn’t generally comment about its deals, I am not certain if the insurance app acquired the domain name, and if the company did, I couldn’t speculate about how much the domain name cost with any certainty. I could see this domain name selling for mid six figures though.

Cover was founded in 2014, and it looks like the app is

Two Keyword Brandables Raise Funds

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I was catching up on some reading this morning, and I wanted to share two articles about financial startup businesses who have raised significant funding and are using brandable keyword .com domain names.

According to CNBC, a company called Ripple has raised $55 million in funding from several large banks. The company has also been backed by Google Ventures. Crunchbase shows that Ripple is closing in on raising $100 million in total funding.

Ripple uses

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