A week ago, there was an active discussion about whether a small startup called Userbase should acquire its brand match .com domain name which was in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions. The company has been operating on Userbase.dev, and the company’s founder (Daniel Vassallo) had polled Twitter to seek out opinions on whether he should spend the money required to buy the domain name. The auction ended at $33,500, and it appeared the company was passing on the opportunity.
it turns out that the winning bidder at GoDaddy Auctions apparently defaulted and did not complete the purchase. As the underbidder in the auction, Daniel was given the opportunity to buy the domain name at his highest bid after the winning bidder’s bids were removed. It looks like he is jumping at the opportunity to purchase the domain name for just shy of $25,000:
It’s done! — It’s coming to where it belongs after getting parked in 1995!
Userbase will launch with a .com before the end of this month. 🤞 pic.twitter.com/Qk2NeiL3iH
— Daniel Vassallo (@dvassallo) January 10, 2020
Based on subsequent tweets, it appears that Userbase is going to rebrand its website to Userbase.com at some point in the near future. Given the company’s recent launch, it is probably a good idea to do this sooner than later, as long as they follow the domain name rebranding guidelines set by Google to ensure SERP continuity.
i do not look at this as an indictment of the new gTLD domain names though. In fact, it looks like Daniel was able to grow his business enough on the .Dev domain name to be able to justify his purchase of the .com domain name. I do think this illustrates how a startup may launch and gain traction on a new gTLD domain name, but if or when the matching .com comes on the market at a reasonable or fair price, the founder may want to secure it.
Once the domain name is secured and the business is relaunched on Userbase.com, I hope Daniel will provide some updates on the business. It would be interesting to hear how the acquisition of the .com domain name impacted the business.