Despite rising inflation and economists warning of a deeper downturn, September continued to produce some important domain name deals, consisting of both domain upgrades and domain purchases for new brands. Static Media's acquisition of Explore.com for a new travel site, for example, was agreed upon in September.
Here, I profiled six domain upgrades that were spotted in September 2022.
In a recent domain upgrades article, I profiled Morning, a French co-working startup that secured the Morning.com domain name, switching from Morning.fr.
A similar US-based co-working brand has also moved to a premium .com domain. Kiln, a startup that provides co-working office space to rent in select states such as Utah, Idaho, and California.
Founded in 2017, Kiln raised $6 million in Series A funding in January 2021 but waited until September 2022 before acquiring its exact-match .com.
Kiln.com was secured by Kiln for an undisclosed fee as an upgrade from the company's original Kiln.co domain name. As of publishing, Kiln.com redirects to Kiln.co, but it's likely the company will migrate its website and associated assets to Kiln.com in time.
Kiln wasn't the only company that moved to its exact-match .com from an alternative domain extension in September 2022.
Heady, a mobile app design and consultation company, has worked with hundreds of small and large brands to create mobile apps of varying complexity.
Since launching in 2015, Heady has been operating on Heady.io, a domain registered just before the company launched. The .io extension is popular with tech startups, but at some point, moving to the .com is inevitable for most successful brands.
Heady secured Heady.com in a move spotted in September 2022. The domain is under Whois privacy protection at GoDaddy, but the Heady.com domain now redirects to Heady.io.
This major domain deal happened earlier in 2022, but was only spotted in September.
For years, Side.com was the home of SIDE, and an award-winning audio supplier with locations in London, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. In early 2022, the company suddenly shifted away from Side.com transitioning to SideGlobal.com.
Shortly after this, Side.com started forwarding to SideInc.com, the home of a real estate brokerage platform called Side, which has raised $313.5 million in funding to date, including a $100 million venture round announced in June 2021.
Side has now transitioned away from SideInc.com, hosting its innovative real estate brokerage platform on the Side.com domain. It's an incredible coup for the company and secures its place as the defining Side brand online.
This is another domain upgrade that only came to light in September 2022.
There are several airlines that own two-letter .com domains. American Airlines has AA.com, British Airways has BA.com, and Lufthansa has LH.com. Now, a new airline can be added to that list in the form of Northern Pacific Airways, which secured NP.com in November 2021.
The airline, founded in 2021, aims at connecting North America and Asia by porting flights through its base in Alaska. The company secured a fleet of Boeing 757s in 2021 alongside the NP.com domain.
Northern Pacific Airways launched to the public using FlyNP.com, but shortly after this, it secured the NP.com domain. The purchase price is unknown, but the domain did hold a $2.5 million asking price in June 2021.
Magma is an art collaboration platform used by more than 1 million people including talent from top studios such as Netflix, Disney, and Riot Games. The platform could be described as a cross between Google Docs and Photoshop in so much as Magma provides a digital art creation space that multiple users can collaborate on.
The company was previously associated with the domains MagmaStudio.io and Magma.ai, but managed to secure the Magma.com domain name for a fee that is thought to be $125,000 based on data from a quarterly filing for seller One Stop Systems. If this figure is correct, it represents a supreme bargain for the platform, with other domains of a similar stature selling for at least double or triple this figure.
Magma's CEO, Damian Kaczmarek, knew the significance of acquiring Magma.com for his brand, tweeting that "(...)Magma Studios becomes THE Magma and you can find us at our new domain: Magma.com."
The upgrade allowed Magma to move away from the "Studio" portion of its former brand name to become the definitive Magma brand online.
While the majority of end-user buyers are brands that use their new domains to augment their brands, some end-user buyers are venture capitalists intent on bettering their digital identity.
Blank.com, Gradient.com, and Battery.com are just three examples of venture capitalists that secured premium .com domains.
Another, Atypical Ventures, joins the ranks. Formed by Chris Wake in 2019, Atypical Ventures backs innovative projects from pre-seed through to established funding rounds. Atypical has recently participated in funding rounds for Rodeo, Ness, and Phosphorus, to name just three.
Atypical Ventures secured Atypical.com earlier in 2022 as an upgrade from Atypical.vc. According to Whois history, the domain was previously owned by British legal firm Atypical Law before moving to Atypical Ventures.