I saw an article on TechCrunch that caught my attention. A startup called Digits announced that it raised a $10.5 million Series A round of funding. A quick check of the domain name showed that it is using the high value, brand match Digits.com domain name for its business.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) November 6, 2019
I was curious to see how Digits was able to acquire Digits.com, so I did a Whois history search at DomainTools. The domain name is currently registered with Whois privacy, but the last time the Whois record was public in April of 2018, the Digits.com domain name was registered to Google. Several years prior to that, the domain name had been registered to a company called Crashlytics.
Getting Google to sell a domain name would be quite a feat, especially a domain name as valuable as Digits.com. This was super interesting to me, and the TechCrunch article mentions the founders’ history:
The funding is a big bet on serial entrepreneurs Wayne Chang and Jeff Seibert who launched and sold their crash reporting service to Twitter, which itself later sold it to Google. At Twitter, the team remained to build out the product and launch new services, like Answers. After the sale to Google four years later, it was then folded into Google’s own developer platform to become the crash reporting tool for Android. Today, it’s still on nearly 5 billion monthly active devices and used inside millions of apps.
Now, the Crashlytics co-founders have returned with most of their original team to develop a new fintech startup, Digits, which describes itself vaguely as “a counting company.”
Digits.com is a great domain name. It is unclear to me whether or not Google has any ownership stake in the startup or the domain name. What is clear is that Digits.com is a fantastic domain name, and it was a smart idea for the startup to get off to a fast start with the perfect brand match domain name.