I saw a VentureBeat article shared via Twitter about a company called Kin announcing a $47 million round of funding. The company has now raised “over $60 million” in funding. After clicking through to the article, I could see that this insurance startup was using the Kin.com domain name.
Kin raises $47 million to broker homeowner insurance in disaster-prone areas https://t.co/CCoCwLYGWR
— VentureBeat (@VentureBeat) August 28, 2019
This three letter, one word .com domain name is undoubtedly valuable, and I did some research to see if I could learn more about how the company was able to acquire it. At the time of publication, the domain name is privately registered, so I can’t confirm that Kin is the registrant, but I have no reason to believe the company did not acquire the domain name.
For many years, the registrant of Kin.com was Microsoft. According to the DomainTools Whois History tool, Kin.com was registered to Microsoft through June of 2017. Until that time, Kin.com was registered publicly at MarkMonitor. Shortly thereafter, the domain name was transferred under Whois privacy to a registrant at Google’s domain registrar. I can only assume the domain name was acquired from Microsoft.
Kin was founded in 2016, although the first articles about the company I could find were from August of 2017. The 2017 articles first mentioning Kin all link to Kin.com. If Kin did have an alternative domain name, I was unable to find it. My guess is the company started out without a domain name or had a stealthy web presence and acquired Kin.com before going to market.
I couldn’t speculate about the value or sale price of Kin.com, but I am sure it was quite high. For what it’s worth, it looks like the company also acquired Kin.CO from Microsoft as well.