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April 2021 recap: Which brands and domains made headlines
By Kristina Misic access_time 22 min read

Hello and welcome to our April 2021 recap, a blog post where we provide you with an overview of the most relevant branding, naming and domain name news we observed in the past 30 days. So let’s start!

Cadbury Dairy Milk is replacing its branding to feature ‘unexpected stories’ from older people’s lives

We just can’t skip this one! One of the most popular chocolate bars in the U.K., Cadbury Dairy Milk, is replacing its branding with stories from the elderly in a bid to raise awareness of isolation and loneliness among the group. So lovely!

The bars feature quotes from older people instead of the Dairy Milk logo (Picture: Cadbury)

After vanishing from all social platforms, Bottega Veneta launched its digital journal called Issue

We already wrote about Bottega Veneta’s move to remove their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts in order to create an intimate connection between the brand and its audience. Now, one of the most popular labels of 2020, has launched its own quasi-media platform, a digital journal called Issue.

Subway drops its logo in bold new billboard

This April, Subway has now decided to remove all traces of branding for a new billboard campaign in Australia. Bold, indeed, but is it a risky move? In any case, it’s one of those brands that can carry off a textless logo.

Trump launches ’45 Office’ website

A man who spent a lifetime putting his name on things now appears to be replacing the gold-plated surname with a number: 45. Trump’s new website, 45Office.com, was created on Jan. 12, according to WHOIS records.

LG phones are officially dead

South Korean electronics giant LG said it will close its loss-making mobile phone business as they look to focus its resources on “growth areas”. LG devices won’t immediately disappear from store shelves; instead, the company plans to let current supplies dwindle without replacing any inventory. The company says it plans to finish winding down its involvement with smartphones by July 31.

H. Beck Announces Rebrand to Grove Point Financial

H. Beck, a boutique independent broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, announced its rebrand to Grove Point Financial. The company acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain GrovePointFinancial.com.

Research company The Insights People has rebranded to Insights Family

Research company The Insights People announced its rebrand to The Insights Family to reflect its rapid growth. The company owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain InsightsFamily.com.

Kolonial.no announced it is changing its name from to Oda

Since Kolonial.no has developed the world’s most efficient online store for groceries, it has decided it is time for another step forward. The company announced it is changing its name from Kolonial.no to Oda. Karl Munthe-Kaas, the Co-founder and CEO of Kolonial, explained that the word “Oda” means “Poem” or “Poetry” in Spanish and Italian. In 2021, Kolonial will step out of Norway so it also acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Oda.com to enhance wider possibilities for expansion and growth. Without a doubt, it can count on more website visitors because .com reflects the global vision of the brand. The team behind this brand also invested in the Oda.no domain name. Now they own their brand completely and that is how you show your customers that you care about providing them the easiest possible way to connect with you online – we salute them!

Patagonia will no longer add corporate/brand logos to its products

Patagonia announced that it is “transitioning away” from adding corporate logos to its products due to environmental reasons. Patagonia is a beloved brand known for putting its customers’ stories front and center to communicate brand value. Running its business with a strong environmental ethos has allowed Patagonia to attract like-minded people. No wonder it is one of the world’s most recognizable brands.

Coca-Cola has unveiled a new, simplified design system across its Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke brands

The change is the first global redesign of packaging since 2015. Is minimalism the future of brand design? Although we must admit – this is cool, we can’t wait to see an ecological alternative or a bio-degradable packaging from this brand.


Discord messaging platform launches Clubhouse-style feature

Discord adds so-called Stage Channels that will allow users to broadcast live audio calls to a channel with listeners. Discord upgraded its domain name from DiscordApp.com to the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Discord.com in 2017. Investing in the brand has definitely paid off given that Discord’s appeal exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon launched a new private-label food brand called Aplenty

Amazon unveiled its new private-label food brand Aplenty, which is being sold online and in its Amazon Fresh stores. Overall, online grocery sales soared 52% in 2020 and Amazon’s newest label comes after a pandemic year in which consumers cooked and snacked more at home.

Zoom announced the Zoom Apps Fund

Zoom launched the Zoom App Fund, a $100 million venture portfolio to invest in companies building applications and hardware based on the company’s software platform. The company upgraded its domain name from Zoom.us to Zoom.com in December 2018. How does your domain name support your company growth?

Stripe generated $7.4 billion in revenue last year

The company generated $7.4 billion in revenue last year—up 70 percent year-over-year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Did you know Stripe initially used the name /Dev/Payments? As you can imagine, the name caused many problems so it was changed to Stripe. The startup earlier this year became the most highly valued private venture-backed company in the U.S.

Apple had its first product launch event of the year

While Apple’s iPad business showed lackluster growth in the mid-2010s, it has seen a boom over the last year as consumers worked and played from home during the pandemic. Here’s what’s at stake for Apple ahead of its first product launch event of the year.

Spline upgraded its domain name from Spline.design to the EBM Spline.com

Spine also said that it has acquired the domain Spline.pizza (just in case!) and Spline.so. By securing their ideal domain, this company owns its brand completely, so why not play with other extensions as well?

Repair Ventures, LLC dba olive®, has acquired the domain name Olive.com 

With olive®, the company wanted to take its adventure to the next level, so it launched a fully digital offering (now Olive.com) built to give customers peace of mind.

“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of olive.com. This is a direct response to the olive brand growth. Our demographics have shown that 50+% of consumers that purchased an olive plan have never purchased mechanical breakdown coverage before, therefore we want to make olive easy to access and simple to find. 

Paul Sherman, CMO of olive®

Tesla’s Q1 2021 saw its revenues expand by 74%

Did you know Tesla was almost called Faraday? Today it’s the name of another electric car company: Faraday Future. Although Tesla started with the domain TeslaMotors.com, Musk acquired Tesla.com in 2016. Tesla’s Q1 2021 saw its revenues expand by 74%.

Nike revealed a new “Nike Refurbished” line of sneakers and athletic shoes

After a shopper returns a pair of shoes to Nike, Nike Refurbished tidies them up and then makes them a great value for Nike shoppers. How amazing is that?! You gotta love Nike!

Image credits: Nike News

An international investment fund based in East Asia has acquired the domain name Investing.com

he financial markets platform was founded by Israeli entrepreneur Dror Efrat and has over 250 employees, most of them in Tel Aviv. Investing.com describes itself as the largest global financial site in the world.

Investment house Standard Life Aberdeen has announced a new name

It seems the new Abrdn name will likely leave both investors and customers feeling dazed and confused. Investment house Standard Life Aberdeen has announced a new name – with most of its vowels removed. The firm said its new name “Abrdn” would still be pronounced “Aberdeen”. Confusing, right?

Kia India drops ‘Motors’ from brand name

The company name has changed from Kia Motors India to Kia India, dropping “Motors,” which symbolizes Kia becoming an enterprise that invests in and produces more than just vehicles to offer a long-range of sustainable mobility solutions. 

Voice will become a social platform

Voice will upgrade, becoming a social platform where users can create digital arts across all formats – visual, written, audio and video – enabling them to be easily bought and sold as unique digital artifacts (NFTs). Just to remind you, Block.One acquired the domain Voice.com for $30 million back in 2019.

A random guy was able to buy Google’s domain name

Oops! Google hit a bit of a snag when people across Argentina reported they were unable to access the search engine. The mystery was solved when Nicolás Kuroña revealed he’d purchased google.com.ar for a little more than $2 after discovering it was for sale.

JD.com has started paying some staff in digital yuan, the virtual version of the country’s physical currency

JD.com, also known as Jingdong, has started paying some staff in digital yuan. Did you know JD.com was formerly called 360buy? The company changed its domain name to 360buy.com in June 2007 and then to JD.com in 2013.

The European Commission has announced that it’s issued formal antitrust charges against Apple

This month’s charges relate only to music streaming apps, and the App Store’s role as a gatekeeper for such apps to access iOS users. Apple has a period of 12 weeks to respond to the preliminary charges.

Vetements might be changing its name to VTMNTS

Vetements might be changing its name to VTMNTS, recently surfaced trademark filings suggest. The Zurich-based brand attempted to trademark its existing name, vowels and all. However, the company faced a major roadblock as “Vetements” is the French word for clothing.

Funding rounds, Acquisitions, Exits and IPOs in April 2021

Kintent raised $4 million seed round to simplify cybersecurity compliance with AI

Kintent announced a $4 million seed. The startup operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Kintent.com which means they have both, the best kind of traffic for their website and more trust for the brand. How do you stand out from your competitors? It seems that Kintent has found its way to do it.

One-stop construction logistics company Curri announced a $6 million fundraise

Curri, a start-up that’s solving last-mile delivery and logistics issues in construction, has raised $6 million. Curri acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Curri.com in 2017. The company says the proceeds will be used to expand its services as well as its market reach.

Boomin officially launched to the public

On 2nd April 2021, Boomin officially launched aiming to gain a significant share of the homebuyer audience by challenging the big three property portals. Boomin operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Boomin.com. They own their brand completely and that is why we look forward to reading more about them in the future.

Meesho’s valuation reaches $2.1 billion as it raises $300 million

Meesho has raised $300M in a new financing round. With this funding, Meesho will continue to expand its presence, hiring talent, and growing its team across technology, product, support, among others. Meesho operates on its EBM (Exact BrandMatch domain Meesho.com and it claims to have a network of more than 13 million entrepreneurs. How do you build, grow and maintain a strong and lasting brand?

Aporia has announced that it has raised a $5 million seed round

Aporia raises $5 million for its monitoring platform for ML models. Aporia owns its EBM (ExactBrandMatch domain Aporia.com which means their users can easily find them online. How long does it take for your customers to locate your website?

Patreon has tripled its valuation

Patreon has tripled its valuation to $4 billion in a $155M funding round. The platform received new attention amid the Covid-19 pandemic as creators were forced to push more of their work online. Patreon operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Patreon.com.

Plaid raised $425 million in round valuing it at $13.4 billion

The investment values the San Francisco-based company at $13.4 billion, according to a source familiar with the deal. Plaid started out on the domain Plaid.io and they upgraded to the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Plaid.com in December 2013. It is not surprising that Plaid is raising more capital. How do you get investors to believe in your brand?

Canva hits valuation of $19.7 billion after the latest round of funding

Did you know Canva used to be called ‘Canvas Chef’? After they finally settled on “Canva”, the startup acquired the EBM domain Canva.com to get into every workplace across the globe. Co-founded in 2013, Canva now has more than 55 million active users and remains profitable; a feat in itself for an Australian-born technology startup. We are not surprised the startup has hit an on-paper valuation of $US15 billion ($19.7 billion) after securing a new round of funding from major US investment funds. Read the story behind Canva.com here.

9.5 million customers traded crypto via Robinhood platform

Christine Brown, Robinhood’s head of crypto operations, revealed that in the first quarter of 2021, 9.5 million of its customers traded crypto via the company’s platform. Robinhood has secured the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Robinhood.com and their website was set for the first time in February 2014. Since the beginning of the year, Robinhood’s crypto team has already more than tripled and we’re continuing to grow. 

SnackMagic has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding

The office shut-down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year spurred huge investment in digital transformation and a wave of tech companies helping with that. SnackMagic has certainly managed to ride the wave. The company has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding in April. A build-your-own snack box service operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain SnackMagic.com. This brand hit a $20 million revenue run rate in eight months and turned profitable in December 2020.

Microsoft announces acquisition of Nuance

On April 12, 2021, Nuance Communications, Inc. announced a definitive agreement with Microsoft under which Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $56.00 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, inclusive of Nuance’s net debt. Nuance owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Nuance.com and the company is best known for its Dragon software. Guess who also owns the domain Dragon.com? Nuance brilliantly protects its brand.

Honest Company filed for a U.S. IPO

Honest Company, a consumer goods company founded by Hollywood actress Jessica Alba, filed for a U.S. IPO. The company plans to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market using the ticker “HNST.” Honest Company owns the domain HonestCompany.com and not only that, they acquired Honest.com for $180,000 back in 2011.

Better.com has raised a $500 million round

Digital mortgage lender Better.com has raised a $500 million round from Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank that values the company at $6 billion. As you can see, they decided to include the .com in their brand name. We are not surprised, they are certainly proud of this magnificent branding move!

Community.com has raised $40M

Community.com Inc., a messaging platform that lets brands, celebrities and others text with consumers, said it has raised a $40 million investment from Salesforce Ventures. Community operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Community.com and more than 26 million consumers are signed up to receive texts via platform. Pretty fascinating numbers! How do you build trust with your customers?

Grover has picked up €60M ($71 million)

A Berlin-based startup Grover has picked up €60 million ($71 million)  in the form of €45 million in equity and €15 million in venture debt. The company, which as of September last year had 100,000 subscriptions and now has around 150,000, operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Grover.com and aims to triple its active users by the end of this year to 450,000. Having their ideal domain is a good strategy for achieving the goal.

Grab has announced plans to go public in the U.S.

Based in Singapore, the company has evolved from a ride-hailing app to a Southeast Asian super app. In 2016, the company upgraded its domain name from GrabTaxi.com to the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Grab.com to introduce the company’s increasing number of services. It expects to see the total addressable market jump from $52 billion to $180 billion by 2025.

Degreed has raised $153 million from investors valuing it at more than $1.4 billion

Degreed Inc., a software company serving human resource departments, will use this funding to speed product development and global expansion and pursue acquisitions. Degreed operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Degreed.com. How do you get the brand recognition that is so important and so valuable for your business?

Messaging app Wire raises $21 million

The company has 1,800 customers (the number has increased by almost 50% over the past year) and its revenue has tripled in 2020. Now Wire has raised $21 million. The end-to-end encrypted messaging app and service owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Wire.com. How easy is it for your customers to find your brand online?

Scale AI valued at $7.3 billion with new funding

The new financing brings the total amount of venture capital it has raised since its founding in 2016 to more than $600 million. Data-labeling company based in San Francisco, Scale AI was founded in 2016 and started with the domain Scale.ai but upgraded to Scale.com. What a great domain name! No wonder they achieve such phenomenal results.

Outschool has raised $75 million

The new funding values Outschool’s at $1.3 billion, around four times higher than its roughly $320 million valuation set less than a year ago. The startup operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Outschool.com that surely helps them build an effective and consistent brand. How consistent is your brand?

 Upstack has picked up funding of $50 million

Upstack will this funding round to continue building out its platform and expanding its services. They have already made a significant step when they’ve secured the EBM domain Upstack.com. A good foundation for building a strong brand online.

Routable nabbed $30 million in a Series B raise

Considering that one of the biggest trends in fintech today is the rise of digital banking, it’s great to see Routable owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Routable.com. Since its August 2020 raise, Routable has seen its revenue grow by 380%.

Startup Pearpop raises $16 million to fuel social-collab marketplace

Pearpop has banked $16 million to build out its marketplace for buying and selling social collaborations among creators. The company operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Pearpop.com. We can bet Pearpop will become a huge brand soon! It’s to be expected given the massive success it enjoys worldwide – and they got their online presence right.

HighRadius raised $300 million

The round values Houston-based HighRadius at $3.1 billion, triple its valuation of “more than $1 billion” at the time of its $125 million Series B in January of 2020. HighRadius operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain HighRadius.com.

The LA-based The Expert raises $3 million

The Expert, a platform for video consultations with interior designers, has raised a $3 million seed funding round. The startup operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain TheExpert.com and that surely means they think long-term when it comes to the growth of this platform. How far in the future do you think when you think about your brand?

Alan has raised a $220 million funding round

French startup Alan has raised a $220 million funding round at a $1.67 billion valuation (€185 million and €1.4 billion respectively). The startup has secured the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Alan.com to establish trust and credibility.

Trip.com is officially listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Trip.com, China’s largest online travel website, is listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ stock exchange in the US (under TCOM), the first global travel group to do so. The company used the domain Ctrip.com, but in November 2019 it was renamed to Trip.com Group Ltd. after they invested in the domain Trip.com.

Octopus Deploy raises $172.5 million 

Founded almost a decade ago, Octopus Deploy has grown to serve 25,000 organizations, including Microsoft, NASA, Xero, Disney and Stack Overflow, through bootstrapping. Octopus Deploy owns both OctopusDeploy.com and Octopus.com domain.

BlaBlaCar has raised a new $115 million funding round (€97 million)

French startup BlaBlaCar started 15 years ago. In 2020 alone, BlaBlaCar had 50 million passengers across 22 markets overall. The startup operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain BlaBlaCar.com which means they have both, the best kind of traffic for their website and more trust for the brand.

Affirm acquired Returnly

U.S. fintech announced the acquisition of Returnly for approximately $300 million. Returnly acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Returnly.com in December 2014. The startup serves more than 1,800 merchants, has helped process more than $1 billion in returns, and has been used by over eight million shoppers. 

Brex disclosed a $425 million Series D led by Tiger Global

The new capital marks Brex’s largest fundraise to date, and was compiled at a valuation that is more than double its most recent private valuation. Brex invested in its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Brex.com securing an unrestricted online presence and of course more visitors globally. How adapted is your domain name to a global audience?

Curated raised $39 million in Series B

E-commerce company Curated raised $39 million in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners. The company operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Curated.com that appears to have been acquired around July 2018. Curated says revenue in 2020 grew 300% compared to the year prior.

Step announced a $100M in Series C funding

Step, the new modern-day financial services company built for teens and families, announced a $100 million Series C round of funding. Step acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Step.com in 2018 according to whois. To date, Step has raised more than $175M and continues to deliver explosive growth. How strong is your online presence?

Blockchain developer platform Alchemy raised $80 million

The company previously raised a total of $15.5 million, so the latest financing brings its total raised to $95.5 million since it launched in 2017. This month, Alchemy upgraded its domain name from Alchemyapi.io to the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Alchemy.com. Now that’s what we call smart brand investment!

Taster has raised a $37 million Series B funding round

By 2025, Taster wants to operate in 1,000 cities thanks to this partnership model. Word-of-mouth marketing works with a strong and memorable domain so Taster operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Taster.com. Great branding strategy.


We hope you enjoyed reading all the above because this past month was filled with some interesting branding lessons. Don’t forget you can always find us on MarkUpgrade’s Twitter account where we have daily posts with startup, branding, naming, domain and business news (and helpful tips).

What caught your attention this April 2021? Feel free to let us know! In the meantime, if you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.

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