We are living in a new world, a world where owning an exact-match .COM, while still incredibly relevant and valuable, is no longer a “must-have” for successful companies. From wildly successful startups like Vine (Vine.co) and About.me, to new ventures like Intercom.io (raised $30.8M so far) and Coffee.club, it is clear that innovation no has to end with a .COM.
Yesterday health insurance startup Oscar announced a monster round of funding, $145M at a valuation of $1.5B. When I first heard the news, out of habit (and a habit that many people still have) I went to Oscar.com, where I found the official website for the Oscars. Next I checked the .CO, the .ME, and the .IO…nothing. So I went to Google and searched for Oscar health insurance, and that’s where I found the home of the latest billion dollar startup at HiOscar.com.
Even with $145M in funding I don’t think The Oscars is going to give up Oscar.com, which means that Oscar is most-likely going to move from HiOscar.com to Oscar.CO, Oscar.ME, .Oscar.IO or even brand around an entirely new gTLD like Oscar.CLUB, Oscar.HEALTH or Oscar.XYZ.
They could have named the company just about anything and it wouldn’t have impacted the valuation or amount of funding raised because at the end of the day this has everything to do with the people behind the company not the name they pick. What I find interesting is that from a branding standpoint they most-likely knew they’d never get the exact-match .COM but picked Oscar anyways. Why? Because we’re living in a world where there are so many more choices than .COM and I think we’ll soon see Oscar debut on a new TLD, the question is, which one?
What do you think? Is Oscar going to stick with HiOscar.com or will they move to Oscar.something? Comment and let your voice be heard!