When I see an announcement about a one word brand name receiving a significant round of funding, I like to check if they own their brand match .com domain name. This afternoon, TechCrunch reported that a startup called Sketch had “landed $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark in its first outside round.” The startup has been using SketchApp.com for its website.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) March 13, 2019
A quick visit to Sketch.com confirmed that the company had acquired the brand match domain name. In fact, a bit of sleuthing showed me that the acquisition was very recent. A screenshot from June of 2018, courtesy of DomainTools, shows the domain name was listed for sale with a $300,000 asking price. An even more recent record on Archive.org from February 16, 2019 shows the landing page on Sketch.com still had a “for sale” message with a $300,000 asking price.
Interestingly, this domain name may have sold twice. On March 9, 2017, I see the domain name listed for sale via the Media Options newsletter for $131,000. On March 14, Media Options sent out a subsequent newsletter announcing that it brokered the sale of Sketch.com, but it did not list the sale price. Historical Whois records at DomainTools show the Whois record for Sketch.com went private at the end of April of 2017. They remained private until February of 2019, and they now show the registrant as Bohemian BV. I do not see any sale records on NameBio for Sketch.com.
It remains to be seen if Sketch.com was sold twice in the last couple of years. The purchase price of the domain name is also unknown. The only things I can see are that Sketch got a great domain name in Sketch.com, and I can see what the asking prices have been the two times I see it listed for sale. I reached out to Andrew Rosener from Media Options for a comment, and I will update this if he replies to clarify.