Yesterday afternoon, I saw the tweet below from Lindsay Kaplan, Co-Founder of Chief, a private network and club for women executives. She was announcing that her company secured a major Series A funding round. According to Crunchbase, the company has now raised $25 million in funding over two rounds:
Thrilled to announce we’ve secured $22 million in Series A funding for Chief, led by @gcvp and Inspired Capital, and welcome two incredible board members to our table — Ken Chenault and @alexavontobel https://t.co/CfJjtk8OUX
— Lindsay Kaplan (@lindsaykap) June 25, 2019
When I saw her tweet, I navigated to Chief.com, and I saw that this startup had acquired the brand match domain name. A Whois history search showed me that the domain name appears to have been recently acquired. Prior to the acquisition of Chief.com, Chief had been using JoinChief.com, according to a CNN article about the company.
I reached out to the general email inbox at Chief and to the former domain name registrant, Roland Chemtob, to see if either could share any information about the domain name acquisition. Although I have not yet heard back from Chief, I did receive a reply from Roland, who owned Chief.com for 22 years. Roland is a long time domain investor whose Branded Holding Group owns and leases a variety of high value 2 letter and one word .com domain names, including MB.com, Ultra.com, Pipe.com, Wonder.com, Bravo.com, Canvas.com, and many other valuable assets.
According to Roland, there were two parties who had shown serious interest in buying the Chief.com domain name. Roland confirmed the sale, but he was unable to share the price. The startup agreed to buy the domain with the help of their existing investors, and Roland believes it helped in raising their valuation. Interestingly, Roland told me the other prospective buyer ended up offering more money to buy the domain name, but he honored the agreement he struck with the buyer. Roland also told me that domain brokers Tessa Holcomb and Amanda Walz were instrumental in getting the deal done in less than three days. From what I can tell, the domain name was sold sometime between early April and mid-June.
Roland was complimentary of Chief because the startup “saw the value way up front before raising a second round.”
Chief.com is obviously a great domain name, and it was a smart move to acquire it when it did because another company would likely own it now.