Domain Upgrade with James Iles: August 2022
In the domain name industry, August is usually a time when everything slows down. With key decision makers on vacation for the summer and less focused on business in general, sales statistics suggest that August is one of the worst months for domain deals to close.
Despite this, dozens of companies secured valuable domain name upgrades. Here, I’ve listed nine that either happened or were discovered in August 2022.
Animals and insects make for incredibly powerful, generic brand names. Coupling the brand name with an exact-match .com can transform a brand, something that Aphid will be hoping for.
In August 2022, Aphid, an AI bot developer, secured Aphid.com from GoDaddy’s mammoth NameFind portfolio, which currently consists of more than 1 million domains.
Aphid made the move from its original domain, Aphid.io, to Aphid.com 3 years after launching.
The Fetch.com domain name was featured on the August 2022 edition of Off The Market Forever on the DomainSherpa network after the domain moved from one end user to another.
Fetch.com was, until August 2022, used by a small delivery company from New Mexico. Fetch, the perfect brand name for a personal shopping-style delivery service was teamed with Fetch.com to help the brand establish a client base and raise $5.1 million.
Yet, the company was willing to switch from Fetch.com to FetchDelivery.com after Fetch Rewards, a mobile shopping platform that helps millions of users earn points and rewards for brand purchases acquired the domain.
Fetch Rewards, which has raised more than $581 million in funding and debt financing, swooped in and secured Fetch.com as an upgrade from its FetchRewards.com domain. In this transaction, as we discussed on DomainSherpa, both parties won.
Fetch Delivery likely got a capital injection from this asset sale, and Fetch Rewards benefits from an ultra-premium domain name.
Major League Baseball (MLB) owns dozens of domain names related to teams within its franchise. Domains such as Pirates.com, Angels.com, and Rangers.com are owned and actively used by MLB, but a couple of premium domains have escaped its clutches for some time.
Twins.com was one of those domains. Owned by twins Durland and Darvin Miller since the 90s, Twins.com had become something of an identity to the pair.
However, in August 2022, the twins finally sold the domain name to MLB, replacing TwinsBaseball.com as the home of the Minnesota Twins.
Usually, we know very few details about premium domain name upgrades as these deals are typically closed away from the public eye. On this occasion, we know who bought the domain, when they purchased it, and how much they paid.
Earlier this year, Medal.com expired after the domain’s registrant failed to renew it in time. This is an extremely rare occurrence for domains of this caliber.
It was fortunate for gaming video clips platform Medal, though, as it gave the company a chance to buy Medal.com at a public auction. Ultimately, Medal paid $185,728 for Medal.com following an intense bidding war.
Medal, founded in 2015, has raised $72.5 million in funding across 5 funding rounds between 2017 and 2021. Its website is an important part of the company’s operation, hosting a social network based around gaming video clips.
With Medal.com, the company has the opportunity to cement ownership of the Medal brand name online.
Apple, Orange, and Lime are just three examples of multi-billion-dollar companies that have chosen fruit as a brand name. Thanks to their familiarity and genericness, fruit names are among the most widely used in branding.
Their wide adoption makes the exact-match .com domains extremely valuable. It’s a rare occurrence when a fruit domain name sells, but in August, one did.
Cherry.com, a domain owned for decades by one person, was acquired by Cherry AB, a Swedish gambling company founded in 1963.
Cherry, which operates on Cherry.se, secured Cherry.com for an undisclosed seven-figure fee. It’s unclear whether Cherry will use the domain to simply transition from Cherry.se to Cherry.com or use this ultra-premium domain for an entirely new platform or initiative.
Decentralized art gallery Kicky managed to secure Kicky.com in August, acquiring the name for $20,388 through domain marketplace Sedo.
Kicky was formed in March 2022 by a small team in Atlanta, Georgia, with the aim of supporting local artists. The company’s platform allows customers to rent or buy original art through its marketplace.
Just months after forming, the company decided to upgrade from Kicky.art to Kicky.com
Another young brand, Paces, secured a domain name upgrade in August.
Formed in January 2022, Paces is building a data platform to help accelerate renewable project development.
Paces, part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2022 batch, received $1.9 million in seed funding from Y Combinator and a host of other investors.
The funding, announced in June 2022, likely influenced the company’s decision to acquire Paces.com as an upgrade from Paces’ original domain, Paces.ai.
According to Whois history, Paces.com was previously a part of GoDaddy’s NameFind portfolio.
Another Web3 platform that secured its exact-match .com domain this year is Bodega, a company that is building an app to help users discover, share, and interact with NFTs.
Bodega is building on the momentum that the NFT industry has created after a bumper year in 2021 that saw NFTs go mainstream.
The company secured Bodega.com earlier this year, but the move wasn’t spotted until recently. For Bodega, the move is a distinct improvement on its initial domain, Bodega.exchange, which now forwards to the superior Bodega.com.
Bodega’s platform is in its early days, but it now has the ability to develop directly on this premium asset without the need to transition in the future, a move that would likely be more costly and time-consuming.