Startup with $19m in Funding Gets

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:

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, 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 in its newsletter as a “make offer” listing.

Based on Whois records, it appears that changed hands in mid-October. On October 21, the Whois record was put under privacy proxy, so it is unclear who the registrant is right now. There is no public sale record for in NameBio, and I don’t see any sale report in DNJournal. I presume the startup acquired the domain name, but with privacy on the Whois record, it is not confirmed.

One thing that people repeat over and over in the domain space is that timing is everything. I have no idea of the sale price, but someone wanted this great domain name to match its business, and it looks like they were able to get it. I don’t know if owning the domain name had anything to do with the successful funding round, but I am sure it will be helpful for the startup going forward. At the very least, the company won’t be handicapped by a more confusing domain name. was a smart acquisition. I am sure the founder’s experience likely influenced the decision to get the domain name right away, and his financial success at Criteo probably helped enable him to make an expensive acquisition at this early stage. If I am able to learn the sale price, I will provide an update.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. thanks for sharing.

    how to do with the dilemma ? : without a good name , companies may fail their funding rounds, but at the same time, before that, they may not have enough money to acquire a great name … ?

    • Many start out on alternative domain names (like a .io for example) and upgrade when the business model is proven and they have the ability to pay more easily. The downside is that while they are building their brand, they are also increasing the value of the exact match domain name.

  2. The real question is if this is a great brand choice, not if it’s smart or great because it’s the one word EMD for the brand name that happened to be chosen. And the answer is no, it’s not. “Less” and “” are great brands for some things, but not for this. Moderately passable for the subject matter, sure, but not great at all. It’s a sad waste of a great domain like that imo.

  3. “Less” just seems like a psychological trigger to invoke the thoughts of: Not as much, Only half what you wanted, You can’t have it all, very little, not the best option, only some of the benefits, just short of the finish line, etc..

    The word “Less” works better when there’s a complementing word to help describe what’s less. Some existing brands harnessed that decades ago (E.g. PayLess).

    It’s nice to have a short one-word premium, however, I think they missed the bullseye by going too short on this one.


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