page title icon What Domains Are Startups Using in 2015? 3,146 Brands Analyzed

Rob Mills Rob is a data analyst by day with years of experience analyzing trends in the domain industry. Rob utilizes his own data skills to acquire domains and hold. Rob also builds websites on the side for passive income. Check out Rob's LinkedIn.
Mushfiq S Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 175 website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.

There was a lot of activity among startups in 2015 with 3,146 recorded domain name purchases from VC-backed startups. Domain investors can pour over this data to look for trends, patterns, and important information that provides clear hints to which domain names are most likely to be winners and which are more likely to be losers.

Analyzing the data here can give investors the insights needed to focus on those domains that are most likely to pay off.

Here’s what we will cover in this analysis:

  1. Raw data of funded startups
  2. Major insights from analysis
  3. Takeaways for domain investors

Let’s get into it!

Data of 2015 to 2021 Funded Startups


Raw Data of 2015 Funded Startups


3 Major Insights From Domains Used By VC Startups

Since VC startups understand the importance of branding and marketing, paying attention to the domains they buy is crucial for investors. These are the buyers who have the money to go after the right brandable domain name.

So how did we gather and use this information?

Our approach was as follows. We obtained the data of funded startups from Crunchbase and cross-correlated that to their domain names. We analyzed the raw data using Microsoft Excel and created data-driven charts to pull insights. 

Let’s take a look at the information that 2015’s data can give us.

1. Most Common TLDs Used By Startups

common tlds 2015

The .com TLD is the most popular by a long shot accounting for 2355 out of the 3,146 domains purchased, or just short of 75%. The most popular alternatives are .io and .co, which combine for 247 domains or around 8%.

There was a lot of hype when .tv came out, but it’s only at 20, which is even less than .org and .net, or even .me. It will have to show strong growth in the future to live up to the initial hype.

Takeaways:

  • .com is the undisputed TLD king with nearly 75% of all startups going this TLD
  • .io and .co seem to have an equal market share as the preferred alternative to a .com
  • .net and .org appear to be fading as the natural alternatives to .com as a TLD

2. Number of Words in a Startup Domain Name

One-word domains are the most popular at 1,612 of the 3,146 total domains bought, which is 51% of the total domains. Two-word domains came in second with 1,272 or 40% of the domain names purchased.

This means 91% of the domains bought by startups were only one or two words in length.

domains 2015

The fall-off was drastic after that. Three-word domains only accounted for 240 of the domain names that startups bought and the remaining 22 domain names were 4 words in length.

Takeaways:

  • One-word domains are the most popular option among VC-backed startups
  • Two-word domains are also a popular choice
  • Domains of three words or longer are in far less demand

3. How Many Characters In Startup Domains?

characters 2015

The sweet spot for characters in a domain is 6-10 characters in length. There were more eight-character domains than any other. Despite 6-10 being the sweet spot, there were still plenty of domains that were 5-characters in length or 11-characters in length that also sold.

There is a distinctive drop in demand for domains by startups the longer the actual name gets. This seems to indicate that the new idea of “short and sweet” might be taking the place of the older idea of “long and detailed.”

Takeaways:

  • 8 characters was the most common length for purchased domain names
  • 6 to 10 characters was the sweet spot for purchasing domains in 2015
  • Much longer domain names don’t sell as well as shorter ones

Final Takeaways for Domain Investors

This study of 2015 domain name purchases by startups gives some specific data that provides a foundation for better domain purchases.

  1. One-word domains are the most popular with two-word domains following close behind
  2. The .com TLD is clearly the best option with .co and .io splitting a distant second place
  3. 6 to 10 characters is the sweep spot for a domain name

Domain names that have these traits are going to be far more likely to provide a big pay-off for investors when shopping them to new VC-backed startups.




Analyzed by Rob Mills

Rob is a data analyst by day with years of experience analyzing trends in the domain industry. Rob utilizes his own data skills to acquire domains and hold. Rob also builds websites on the side for passive income. Check out Rob's LinkedIn.



Analyzed by Mushfiq S

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 175 website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.


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