Mercury, a banking company “built for startups,” has operated on the Mercury.CO domain name since its inception. Earlier this week, Jamie Zoch reported that the brand match .com domain name, Mercury.com, had moved into Escrow.com’s escrow account and might have been sold:
Wowser! Mercury(.)com moves into escrow via Escrow(.)com! The domain has been registered since 1990 and was owned by Micro Focus Software Inc. (Novell, Inc.) This was a former HPE owned domain until late 2017 when Novell took ownership. Buyers are currently unknown.
— Jamie Zoch (@DotWeekly) December 9, 2019
If you visit Mercury.com right now, you can see that the domain name is forwarding to Mercury.CO indicating that the banking startup acquired the domain name. Because the domain name is still registered in the name of Escrow.com, I would say it is likely that the domain name was acquired using a payment plan. Assuming that is the case, the domain name will transfer to the banking company once it is paid in full. The startup has reportedly raised $26 million in funding so far, including a $20 million round in September.
Responding to some questions from domain investors on Twitter about whether the company intends to use Mercury.com as a forwarder or if it will move its website, Mercury founder Immad Akhund announced that the startup will begin using the Mercury.com domain name at some point in the near future:
That’s just temporary while we set everything up to switch.
— immad (@immad) December 10, 2019
Mercury.com is a super high value domain name. I have heard whispers that this was a seven figure transaction, and I would not be surprised at all if that is the case. There are a whole host of companies with Mercury as their branding or in their branding, and this domain name is highly coveted by many. Perhaps we will learn the acquisition price of the domain name in a future SEC filing.
Wow! Mercury Insurance, with a market cap of $2.47B and revenue of $3.38B most definitely missed the boat on acquiring their exact match domain. They use MercuryInsurance.com.
Another great one off the market!
I guess it depends on whether they could justify the cost, sounds like this one was a few million.
The people on the .co have more to lose with this as their brand is simply “Mercury” whereas the insurance people have branded with the term “Mercury Insurance”. They do already have the exact match domain so the question becomes is it worth a few million to shorten it.
Their brand name is the two-word “Mercury Insurance” so the one-word Mercury.com would be a brand-mismatching domain name to them.
That is taking it too far. A lot of companies will see the first word of a two (or longer) word name as highly desirable, especially where the second word in describer, eg “insurance”, “corporation, “bank”. Depends whether it is desirable at the price being asked.
I suspect they’d be the type of buyer who would be interested at 6 figures but not 7 figures. It wouldn’t be causing daily issues, whereas mercury.co would be getting constant confusion issues.
I don’t recall any top company takes that approach, so I think this is not taking it too far and is actually logic.
And there doesn’t seem to be statistics showing that mercury.co is causing constant confusion.
Regarding your second point, they dumped the .co in 7 months. You can either ask me for non existent stats and kid yourself they weren’t having issues on a .co, or you use common sense. I know which choice you will make.
Not sure if it’s just me, but I haven’t seen Apple call themselves “Apple Computer”. They just call themselves “Apple” and people call them “Apple” as well. So I would not say Apple is a good example. The same goes with Walmart. I hadn’t heard the third company before.
There can be multiple possibilities that a company switches domain extension. I would not make a conclusion before having a definitive clue.
They changed their name from Apple Computer to Apple, just like Walmart and Progressive dropped the second word. What a strange thing that two of the biggest companies in America aren’t good examples to you.
The third, Progressive, is one of the largest insurance co’s in the US.
And they did that probably because they thought the second words made their domain names brand-mismatching.
Thanks for the info about Progressive. I live in East Asia.
Smart and logical upgrade by Mercury (99% of consumers have no idea what .co is, will either think it’s a scam or a typo and then go to the .com)
Incredible FAIL for Mercury Insurance. They just missed a huge opportunity.
Next time, be sure that you do have statistics before making an exaggerative/defamatory claim (e.g. the 99% thing) so that your credibility would not be affected again.
I’m running my own polls Ethan. Anytime I’m at Starbucks where the gig economy takes place, I just ask around. People know their country code and .com. Sometimes they even know .org. To this date no one ever heard about a thing called .co so my 99% was actually including a margin of error, lol.
Keep buying / registering that overpriced Colombian junk country code, Ethan, but decision makers are upgrading, not downgrading. .com is a black hole that sucks in all the marketing and acquisition money, whether you like it or not.
Not ONE .co. domain, lol
Just follow the money
the great fortunes and the richest companies are conservative minded. The future is designed by innovators (not conservatives) and they are not rich, so they choose affordable extensions such as: .co, .cc, .tv, etc…
To know the market trend, look at the majorities.
This is a very shallow “study”. So many times it mentions domains of parent companies instead of their consumer-oriented websites. Caterpillar.com and not cat.com, pepsico.com and not pepsi.com, citigroup.com and not citi.com, coca-colacompany.com and not coca-cola.com, aboutmcdonalds.com and not mcdonalds.com etc.
All those examples are still .com though, right?
But yes, it is a study about corporate websites.
Looks like I missed the line that they mention that. Which makes it even more bizarre – doing it knowingly, because such names have no value in domaining, why focus on that? Also, most of these companies got their names early and only few happened to have bought new domains recently. The market is with the new and growing companies.