This afternoon on TechCrunch, I read that popular online form website, WuFoo, was acquired for $35 million (cash and stock) by SurveyMonkey. I’ve used WuFoo before, and I like how easy it is to create and implement forms on websites.
One downside of the WuFoo branding is that it can easily be confused with WooFoo.com. According to Compete, WooFoo.com doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but it does get up to a few thousand visits a month, likely misdirected type in traffic. The owner isn’t monetizing this traffic, but does have a for sale notice on the landing page.
Now one might suggest that the owners of WuFoo file a UDRP for WooFoo.com and be done with it, but not so fast on that. WooFoo.com was registered in January of 2005 and WuFoo.com was registered a year later in January of 2006. This quite obviously means that the domain owner did not register the domain name to capitalize on the WuFoo brand since it was non existent, and bad faith registration would be difficult to prove.
I have no idea what the owners of WooFoo.com want for the domain name, but I think the companies should work out some sort of deal. Any buyer of WooFoo.com would very likely know that WuFoo exists, and it would be likely that WuFoo/SurveyMonkey would file a UDRP for the domain name if sold. Additionaly, the current owner would be hard pressed to monetize this domain name without infringing on the rights of WuFoo.
Most importantly, WuFoo is losing some traffic to this typo. Of course, some people will then go to Google to find it, where WuFoo will have to compete with other companies either with sponsored ads or with SEO when the visitor searches for something like “online forms.” This is probably not a lot of money, but over time it may be, and it’s something that can be avoided with a relatively inexpensive acquisition.
If SurveyMonkey is willing to spend $35m on WuFoo, the company should reach out and try to buy WooFoo.com. The owner likely can’t sell it to anyone else, and there likely wouldn’t be a better buyer for it.