Startups Choosing Longer .coms Over Alternatives

Chris Sheridan, Head of Strategic Partner Sales at Weebly, shared a link to a TechCrunch article covering startup branding:

The article discussed quite a few funded startups and their brand name choices. Brands mentioned in the article include Waldo, Morty, Pie Insurance, Carrot Fertility, Lemonade, Oscar, Herb, Bud, Radish, Purple Squirrel, and quite a few other companies with interesting (or even confusing) brand names.

I was interested in the brand name choices, but I was particularly interested in the domain names the companies chose for their websites. The article linked to these startups’ Crunchbase profile pages, so it was a bit more tricky to see their domain names, but I think I looked at almost all of them. Of note, nearly all of the startup profiles I saw showed the companies were using longer .com domain names rather than new gTLD domain names, ccTLDs, or alternative extensions. The exceptions I noticed were Herb (, and Purple Squirrel (

Some of the domain names being used include,,,,,,,,,, and (among several others).

Personally, I think it can be confusing to use a domain name like, but perhaps the exact match .com domain names were too expensive or not available for sale.

Although this is probably a smallish sample, I found it interesting that most of these startups decided to go with a name like rather than Waldo.Online or something else that could have been hand registered.

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. Old corps are doing the same in some instances. we were at Pizza Hut today and saw a work from home ad with the following domain: when it would have been better to use something shorter, like (Which Bill Hartzer pointed out to me).

    I think the most confusing aspect of their long tail .com choice was the “is” in it. Really? And yes, it’s a wide scale campaign.

    • P.S. Using pejorative terms like “long tail” is also part of the problem. Might as well tell the enemies of domain names and giant “PTB” so disposed how much you want to help them do their work.

      Okay now off to the victuals…

  2. Well I just got in from being out a little while ago and need to eat so I don’t feel up to my usual statements about the severely misunderstood and sadly harmful topic of long vs. short and the associated problems in the industry. But enough would already be well familiar with it by now including our host.

    I will just add that this would be a good time to mention again how there is at least one nice long three word .com out there that is definitely worth 9 figures, with high 8 like what happened with being the no-brainer discount level.

    I will also mentioned as I have before that I have a nice *super* long four word .com that I never began with any intention of selling and was only using as an end user when a company listed on the London Stock Exchange came calling on me to try to buy it.

    Okay, off to the victuals…

  3. This article may as well have been titled “RIP: The New Gtlds Are Dead”. It also happens to be correct.

    Clearly, the smart money is not interested in the new tlds and the vast majority feels it is preferable to have a longer .Com over a shorter .Crappolla.

    I, too, subscribe to this theory and feel that the new G’s are very confusing and invariably lead to a loss of customers.

  4. Ok, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? It seems obvious that the gtlds have failed and that the few companies that have tried to use them are now sorry and coming back to .Com.

    Most venture capitalists are requiring their clients get a .Com if they have any intention to obtain funding. Many feel that to launch with an extension other than .Com boldly proclaims “Loser”, “Second Rate”, “Late To The Party”, “Copycat”, “Spammer-Scammer”, “Wannabee”, “Bad Negotiators”, “Small Fry” and “We Settled!”

  5. Two words .coms are considered the norm because most one words are taken and very expensive for startups with not a big budget or funding for a domain name. Also, two word .com domain names are very descriptive and brandable plus the most popular selling for any industry. Open your phone, most app names are two words Face Time, Whats App, Snap Chat, Google Maps, Docu Sign, Pipe Drive, Hello Sign (Has had success with the hello expression.) I will counter your article with how many startups are using .io vs .com like Purple Squirrel you mentioned. Long .com would be three and four words, so I would say your heading is unsuitable.

  6. Perhaps you’re semantically right about the title, but my point is that instead of choosing exact match brand alternatives like Oscar.whatever, Hippo.something, or Radish.extension, many of these startups are going with a longer .com domain name, like or Mortgage Hippo, for example, could have hand registered Hippo.Mortgage if they wanted it.

  7. How the heck could they not have gotten for a relatively affordable price? lol = better than = better than

    If I said the word “squirrel” and then let me dog run loose on my keyboard he would most certainly have had come up with a better domain than

    I really see this discussion as rehashing the same old arguments. The fact remains that both single word’s (of solid TLD’s like .io and .co) AND 2-word .com’s could be equally good for a company depending on the audience/clients and marketing budget.

    The real problem domainers have with ngTLD’s is that they registered domains longer than a single word or single term in TLDs .. for which there most certainly is no demand of any significance what-so-ever. Factor in the fact most of the solid’s are more expensive to hold than .com’s, and most are quite simply bad investments and throwing your money away.

  8. Building a Brand is no easy task but No one talks about how the Domain Name can effect Marketing. A Common sense domain, thats easy to remember, would be much easier to market. SEO marketing becomes easier as well not to mention easy to spread by word of mouth.

    If someone came and asked me OR something like, I would take both PropertySeoul and AbcProperty. If I want to get my Brand/company name out there, I would take PropertySeoul and point it to Abcproperty. You attract not only local but international clientele as well, easily.

    Marketing PropertySeoul would just be so much easier. Infact, research shows you can save over 50% in marketing costs when you choose a domain that describes your business.

    Two word domains are getting popular and catching on. To me, they make sense.

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