page title icon What Domains Are Startups Using in 2016? 4,848 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.

Trends don’t pop up overnight. By studying several years’ worth of data for brands we can find trends, patterns, and information that might provide some useful insights for domain investors. This data provides information on the number of words used in the average domain, TLDs that are gaining (or losing) popularity, and baseline information to note forming trends.

This wealth of information on startup domain choices can be valuable when making decisions on new or aged domains for investment.

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 2016 Funded Startups


3 Major Insights From Domains Used By VC Startups

Domains used by VC startups are ideal for this study. They are brands that intend to grow and be active, have investment capital behind them, and there’s going to be more data available from VC startups versus the hundreds of millions of domain names bought from non-VC startup buyers.

So how do we collect and analyze this data? 

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 from the data. 

Let’s look at the three major insights the data showed to us once we analyzed the data from these Excel sheets.

1. Most Common TLDs Used By Startups

No one should be surprised that .com was the most popular TLD for startup websites. That TLD is considered the standard and is what everyone assumes a website will go with unless told otherwise.

Looking at the top twenty most common options still reveals a lot of interesting information.

top 20 common tlds

First, 63% of venture startups use .com domains. This is an even higher percentage than the 54% of worldwide websites that go with .com. This shows that despite the hype for other TLDs the .com is always a good bet for a brandable domain.

The next two best TLD options are the .IO and .CO domains which are used by 312 total startups. These are clear winners compared to other options not tied to a national or country-based domain ending.

For domain investors who find a great brandable name, this suggests grabbing a .IO or .CO can still be a good play, especially if the .COM is unavailable and not being used. 

This also shows both of those have clearly passed .net and .org as alternative TLDs. At least when it comes to VC startups.

Takeaways:

  • .com is still the best TLD option
  • .io and .co are the next best TLD options based on demand
  • .net and .org should not be considered the best .com replacements in most cases

2. Number of Words in a Startup Domain Name

When it comes to the domain name, simple is better. Nearly half (47%) of domains in this group were one word (2,272 out of 4,848) and 35% (1,686) of domains bought were two words. 

That means over 82% of the domain names were one or two words.

number of words in domain name

Far fewer domains went with three words and a minuscule number went as high as four or five. This gives support to the idea that short and easy to remember is more brandable than multi-word and detailed.k

The longer the domain name, the harder to sell it is going to be, based on what these numbers would suggest. 

That also adds to the argument that the days of long exact match domain names being valuable is likely over. Three word domains are the ceiling in most cases, with one or two words being a far better option.

Takeaways:

  • One word domains account for 47% of all VC startup domains
  • Two word domains account for 35% of all VC startup domains
  • Short and brandable beats long and detailed when it comes to domain names

3. How Many Characters In Startup Domains?

The short but sweet messaging for domain names tends to apply to the number of characters, though not to the same extent.

The majority of these domains have 6 to 10 characters in the domain. The most common length is 8 characters although the numbers from 6-10 are all very comparable, as you can see from the character breakdown chart below.

number of characters

The majority of domains have 6 to 10 characters in the domain, with the most common being 8 characters. However, there isn’t a huge statistical difference between 8 characters in name and the others in the 6-10 range.

Takeaways:

  • 8 characters is the most popular length for a domain name
  • 6-10 characters seem to be the sweet spot
  • The best domain names for investment should look at avoiding being too short or too long

Final Takeaways for Domain Investors

There are three final takeaways we can summarize based on the information provided.

  1. .Com is still king, although .io and .co are becoming increasingly acceptable TLD for startups and should be preferred to .net and .org. 
  2. Memorable one-word and two-word brandable domains are much better options than multi-word detailed domain names
  3. Too few characters can be negative, and 6-10 seems to be the sweet spot.

Domain investors who use this knowledge to inform their buying will be far more likely to come up with domain names that funded startup businesses will be motivated to buy. That makes this information a useful tool to help create a profitable deal.




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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