Every day, companies around the world decide to upgrade their domain names. These domain names, especially if they're ultra-premium one-word .com's, can cost six-, seven-, or eight-figures to acquire.
How important is funding for significant domain name acquisitions? Is there a correlation between funding and domain name acquisitions?
Here, I'm looking at five companies that disclosed funding in March 2022 that already use one-word .com domains to see when they bought their domain and how close that purchase was to a funding round.
Ramp - Ramp.com
Financial automation platform Ramp chose a superb short, simple, positive brand name when it was founded in 2019. Ramp started by offering financial products geared towards small-to-medium-businesses, but now works with companies of all sizes.
Ramp has gone from strength to strength since then, raising $1.4 billion in disclosed funding, including a $200 million Series C round and $500 million in debt financing revealed in March 2022. This funding gave Ramp an $8.1 billion valuation.
The company operates on Ramp.com, but it hasn't always. Ramp began life on TryRamp.com before switching to Ramp.com in Q2 of 2020, shortly after launching to the public.
Its acquisition of Ramp.com came when Ramp had just secured $15 million in Series A funding, announced in February of 2020. The Ramp.com domain is not only a consumer's first contact point with the company, but it also hosts Ramp's finance platform.
Chief - Chief.com
How much would you pay to access a private membership network filled with the most powerful women in business? According to Forbes, joining the women's-only network Chief could set you back at least $7,400 per year.
The annual fee opens the door to a national community of professionals, with many holding influential positions at key companies.
Chief's network is hosted at Chief.com, a domain it acquired for an undisclosed fee in Q2 of 2019, upgrading from JoinChief.com.
The company decided that the domain name was an essential early target, with the purchase taking place just months after Chief launched.
It was likely made possible thanks to a $22 million Series A funding round disclosed in June 2019, shortly after the company secured Chief.com.
Chief.com has carried the company's website and private network platform ever since and has undoubtedly played a part in its $1 billion valuation, achieved after raising $100 million in Series B funding in March 2022.
Pipe - Pipe.com
In February 2021, Pipe's co-founder, Harry Hurst, tweeted:
"One-word dictionary domains are the holy grail... They're not cheap, but they stamp authority, allow you to build trust with your customers faster."
Hurst certainly speaks from an experienced position. His startup, Pipe, launched in 2019 to offer a global trading platform that allows companies to charge monthly but get paid for the year, transforming recurring revenue into upfront capital.
The company acquired Pipe.com in Q1 of 2020, very early in the company's lifecycle. This purchase took place around the same time that Pipe announced its $6 million Series A funding round.
Subject - Subject.com
Online learning is a growing and competitive space, with dozens of platforms now offering accredited and extracurricular courses for anyone with a yearning to learn. To stand out from the crowd, you need the right brand.
Emile Learning, formed in 2020, has spent the last couple of years building what it calls "the Netflix of high school education. Early success, aided by $5.3 million in disclosed seed funding during 2021, helped establish this accredited learning platform.
The company decided to rebrand in 2022, a move that culminated in Emile becoming Subject. This rebrand was announced at the same time as the company's $29.4 million Series A funding round, which likely gave Subject the ability to rebrand and acquire a key asset, Subject.com.
The Subject.com domain, which now hosts the company's entire platform, was acquired in early 2022 for an undisclosed fee.
Dave - Dave.com
Back in 2016, when Dave was formed, it was a humble fintech platform with big plans. Dave, shorthand for the hero in the David vs. Goliath story, provides a banking app aiming to level the financial playing field.
From microloans to building a credit history, Dave's service has proved a hit, with millions of people now using the app.
Since Q1 of 2017, Dave has operated on Dave.com, a domain it acquired for an unconfirmed fee that is thought to be $121,000. Dave.com, a domain it acquired from a design company, was an upgrade from Dave's original TryDave.com domain.
Weeks after Dave secured Dave.com, the company announced a $3 million seed funding round.
Despite being predominantly an app-based business, Dave made acquiring Dave.com a priority. Now, as a publicly-traded company with a $3 billion valuation at IPO, Dave's early purchase of Dave.com certainly helped set the company up for long-term success.
Bonus: I analyzed data from 25 companies operating on a one-word, premium .com domain that disclosed funding in March 2022. Download this spreadsheet to determine when each company acquired its one-word .com domain and see whether the acquisition was close to a significant funding round.