A started up called Roomi has raised $11 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. Roomi helps people find roommates, and it seems to be relatively successful since its introduction in 2015. Although the branding is cute, I don’t think the domain name is very good and it could cause problems as the startup continues to grow.
Roomi can’t be found at Roomi.com. Instead, visitors need to go to RoomiApp.com to find the company’s website.
The exact match Roomi.com domain name has been registered since 2000, and it is being used as a blog. I would imagine it could be helpful for the startup to purchase Roomi.com, although a brandable domain name like Roomi.com has quite a bit of value.
Perhaps a bigger problem for the company is a totally different domain name. As I was writing this article, I accidentally typed Roomie and Roomie.com a couple of times. When I think of the shortened and colloquial version of roommate, the spelling is generally “roomie.” When I visited Roomie.com, I was forwarded to what appears to be a competing website, Roommates.com. People who hear about Roomi and visit Roomie.com instead of RoomiApp.com will be forwarded to a potential competitor or Roomi. It is one thing if a prospective customer lands on a domain name that is much different than what was expected. It is totally different if a prospective customer lands on another website that does something similar. Perhaps prospects who go to Roomie.com won’t even know that it is a different company.
I don’t really know what the company can do to overcome this potential obstacle at this point. Even if Roomi would want to buy Roomie.com, I highly doubt the operator of Roommates.com is going to sell the domain name to what would seem to be a competitor.
App operators sometimes say that the domain name doesn’t matter all that much. In my opinion, people still visit domain names, and I think Roomi’s domain name could be confusing.