Domain Upgrade with James Iles: April 2022

Despite an ever-reducing pool of ultra-premium domains to choose from, businesses continue to strategically snap up domain names that will play their part in transforming their company.

Here, we're profiling 8 high profile domain name upgrades disclosed or revealed during April 2022.

Yuga.com

After launching in April 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has become a global phenomenon. The NFT collection of 10,000 apes has made a whole community of investors wealthy. Few more so than the Yuga Labs founders.

Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, recently raised a mammoth $450 million seed funding round at a valuation of $4 billion. Not bad for a company formed so recently.

Yuga Labs upgraded from YugaLabs.io to Yuga.com in anticipation of its funding round. The move happened late last year, but it was discovered in April when Yuga Labs switched its website from YugaLabs.io to simply Yuga.com.

Comet.com

Machine learning startup Comet has operated its development platform on Comet.ml since launching in 2017. The .ml extension, which has been repurposed to be an initialism for "machine learning", is the country-code extension for the West African country Mali.

Comet raised $50 million in Series B funding in November 2021, hot on the heels of its Series A, which was disclosed in April 2021. According to Comet CEO Gideon Mendels, 2021 was a bumper year for Comet, with the company growing its annual recurring revenue (ARR) fivefold within the year.

The company built on its continued success by investing in its exact match .com, Comet.com.

It is expected that Comet will ultimately switch from Comet.ml to Comet.com

Modular.com

Artificial intelligence startup Modular managed to pry Modular.com from the hands of long-term owners Reflex Publishing.

Reflex Publishing has a highly sought-after portfolio of domains, including Relex.com, Bag.com, and High.com. It rarely sells its domain names, but it did sell Clubhouse.com to audio app Clubhouse in April 2021.

Modular is a brand-new startup formed in early 2022 by two ex-Google employees. The company has also hired talent from Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft.

The company launched on Modular.ai but quickly made the move to Modular.com. Modular hasn't disclosed any funding as of publishing, but the domain name was likely to be an expensive buy.

DC.com

Two-letter .com domains are some of the rarest assets on the Internet. With just 676 available, the two-letter .com club is filled with large corporations and savvy companies smart enough to harness their power.

When a two-letter .com changes hands, it's noteworthy, to say the least, especially when it is sold from one major corporation to another.

In April, DC Comics acquired DC.com from the professional services company Deloitte. For DC Comics, it makes a substantial upgrade from its current DCComics.com domain.

Holding the whole of the DC universe at DC.com will allow DC Comics to transition away from the "comics" part of its name as it has expanded far beyond being simply a comic book producer.

Upside

Sometimes, your domain name dictates what people call your company. That was certainly the case for the cashback app GetUpside, which adopted its two-word moniker alongside the GetUpside.com domain when it launched in 2011.

The Upside.com domain was inaccessible, last used by business travel company Upside until it was forced to shut down in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opportunity to acquire Upside.com was something that the cashback app wasn't going to miss. Upside acquired Upside.com in December 2021, but this wasn't discovered until the company completed an April rebrand from GetUpside to Upside, naturally using the Upside.com domain. The upgrade coincided with the company's announcement of a $165 million funding round.

Clara.com

Clara may be a common first name, but for a Mexican company, Clara means "clear". Founded in 2020, Clara is an end-to-end spend management company that has attracted significant attention.

Venture capitalists love Clara, with $158.5 million in funding secured within 2 years of launching, including a $70 million Series B round disclosed in December 2021.

Up until April 2022, Clara operated on the Clara.cc domain. The .cc extension is attributed to Cocos Islands, an Australian territory and although it has been adopted by some companies internationally, the extension isn't that well known.

Fortunately, Clara secured its exact match .com, Clara.com. Whois history suggests the acquisition may have taken place around the time that Clara raised its Series B funding in late 2021.

However, it took until April 2022 for Clara to switch from Clara.cc to Clara.com to host its website and digital platform. A firm upgrade for this financial company.

Novel.com

NFTs are big business. As we've seen earlier in this article, Yuga Labs recently secured its exact match .com domain, and so did another NFT-related business.

Novel dubs itself as the Shopify for NFTs, allowing users to create, mint, and sell NFTs on their own Shopify storefront. Offering the ability to sell NFTs via Shopify is also something that Shopify itself is exploring.

Novel has added a critical digital asset to its arsenal to stand out from the crowd.

At the beginning of April 2022, Novel came out of stealth mode after launching in 2021. Along with revealing a $6 million funding round, Novel also showed off their new domain name, Novel.com.

Shortly before coming out of stealth mode, Novel switched from its initial Novel.shop domain to the infinitely better Novel.com.

Rhombus.com

Shapes can make fantastic brand names, especially if you're hoping to convey integrity and reliability. Think of payment provider Square (Square.com) or fintech company Circle (Circle.com).

While a rhombus may not be the most common shape, it's still a popular brand name, with Crunchbase and LinkedIn listing dozens of businesses operating under that name.

In April, it was revealed that Rhombus Systems, a security systems provider, secured Rhombus.com, upgrading from RhombusSystems.com in the process.

This comes after Rhombus Systems raised $10 million in Series A funding.

While Rhombus Systems is a hardware provider, its website is also an important asset. The company uses its website to attract new customers, with its sales team on hand to follow up with leads procured through Rhombus.com.

The company also hosts a platform for its clients to watch and review video footage. Hosting its website and platform on Rhombus.com rather than RhombusSystems.com will make a big difference for Rhombus.