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:
- Raw data of funded startups
- Major insights from analysis
- Takeaways for domain investors
Let’s get into it!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Final Takeaways for Domain Investors
There are three final takeaways we can summarize based on the information provided.
- .Com is still king, although .io and .co are becoming increasingly acceptable TLD for startups and should be preferred to .net and .org.
- Memorable one-word and two-word brandable domains are much better options than multi-word detailed domain names
- 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.