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Oscar Health Should Buy Oscar.com

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According to a news report on CNBC, a health insurance company called Oscar Health raised a $165 million round of funding from the likes of Alphabet, Founders Fund, and other firms. The company is now reportedly valued at $3.2 billion with over $725 million in total funding (per Crunchbase).

Unfortunately for Oscar, the company uses the less than ideal HiOscar.com domain name for its website. This isn’t great for a major health insurance company like this because of the potential for confusion. Yes, I think it is better than an alternative extension, but HiOscar.com could certainly be confusing to customers and prospects. Imagine being a customer and getting an email with a link to HiOscar.com. I think it could raise more red flags than the exact brand match Oscar.com domain name would raise.

So who owns the Oscar.com domain name? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences owns the domain name. The organization uses it for it’s Oscar Awards, more commonly known as the Oscars. Oscar.com forwards to the Oscars landing page, Oscar.go.com. As you can see, this is a subdomain of the ABC / Disney Go.com website. The Academy also owns the better version for its Awards, Oscars.com, which forwards to the same website. Fortunately, there likely wouldn’t be confusion for Oscar Health customers who accidentally type-in Oscar.com, but I think the exact match .com domain name appears more trustworthy.

If I were advising Oscar, I would urge them to enter a negotiation with The Academy to try to buy the Oscar.com domain name. I would leverage the fact that The Academy also owns Oscars.com so they have little to lose if they were to sell Oscar.com. I would suggest a strong offer to open the discussion. I might even suggest offering a bit of equity in the growing startup to give The Academy some upside. If Oscar succeeds and is acquired or goes public at a much higher valuation, The Academy will earn more money. I might also suggest a mechanism for The Academy to retrieve the Oscar.com domain name if the business fails or if an acquirer kills the Oscar branding.

From my vantage point, I think Oscar has much more to lose than The Academy by not owning Oscar.com. With their huge round of funding, I think they should buy the authoritative Oscar.com domain name. Of course, it is easy for me to spend someone else’s money, but I think it would be a shrewd move.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (11)

    Taylor

    This is one of the stupidest articles, I have ever read, if you know anything about the history of THE OSCARS why on earth would they sell this domain?

    March 28th, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Elliot Silver

      Because they own Oscars.com already so not a huge loss, are only using the domain name for forwarding, they could make a big chunk of change, and they could have upside if they would get some equity.

      In reply to Taylor | March 28th, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Jamie Zoch

    I was considering a similar article this morning and one interesting bit.. OscarHealth(.)com was acquired by a MarkMonitor client at the start of 2018 (looks like February). It could be an investor, but that isn’t likely as the domain would likely redirect to HiOscar or they would use OscarHealth(.)com instead of HiOscar(.)com. What is actually more likely (more fun really)? One of the big insurance companies bought it, just to mess with them 🙂

    March 28th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Tripeee

    If you were advising the Academy of Motion Pictures would you tell them to sell it? Give up the domain name of their most iconic award – The Oscar
    For what – $1mm , $10mm ? What does the money do for them ?

    Have to say this is a terrible idea and you usually are on point with advice , this one may have missed the mark

    March 28th, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Elliot Silver

      This was advice for Oscar, which I understand just raised a boatload of capital and is seemingly growing.

      I don’t know anything about the Academy, beyond the fact that it has two very good domain names it uses as forwarders.

      March 28th, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    gary dell

    I remember seeing oscar.com listed for sale on ebay almost two decades ago. I think that is how the academy acquired it.

    March 28th, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Bill Sweetman

    Not likely to happen; the Academy doesn’t ‘play well with others’ when it comes to their domain names and trademarks. Just ask GoDaddy.

    March 28th, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Richard

    Won’t be pretty but I think they should rebrand.
    The academy will never sell any of their prime domains, even if I have to agree, that Oscars.com makes more sense to them than Oscar.com.. Anyway it won’t happen so they should consider a rebrand.

    March 28th, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Owen Frager

    Interesting story here. This was started by Josh and Jared Kushner who have a VC called Thrive. Peter Thiel is also involved. It was created before Trump was running to solve the Obamacare mess on the assumption Hillary would be President. I think they saw Healthcare.gov as a bloated mess that could be replaced with this platform and thus the name wouldn’t matter. They are doing some innovative programs with Cleveland Clinic and setting up group rates so average jose and freelancers like us could be part of group insurance like corporate employees get. I believe their end game is acquisition so the name won’t matter. Amazon for example is getting into this business and recently Walgreens merger with an insurance company shows a new model that could use this technology. Think Quidsi who exits to amazon and wal-mart. Truthfully buying Heathcare.com from our friends that own it just for the name would be smart before selling out. Quidsi edge was their brands.

    March 28th, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Sigma

    Why do these companies brand their company before acquiring the dot-Com domain in 2018? How can they be that naïve at this point?

    March 28th, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Jasco

    I would advise them to purchase Oscar.Health or Oscar.Healthcare if they haven’t already done that.

    March 29th, 2018 at 2:19 pm

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