June is Pride Month when the world’s LGBT communities come together to raise awareness and remember the struggles the entire community must face every day. More than ever, it seems that brands are signaling support for the LGBTQ+ community since UEFA decided to reject the proposal of the Munich City Council to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors for the match between Germany and Hungary. We followed various news this month – those concerning the brands that supported Pride this month, as well as those related to branding, naming, domain names and startup fundings. We have collected the most interesting ones in this blog, so sit back and enjoy another retrospective of the month behind us.
Lego started selling a rainbow-colored set in honor of Pride Month
The Scandinavian toy brand has unveiled an LGBTQ-themed set called “Everyone Is Awesome.” It went on sale June 1, the first day of Pride Month. Rather than depicting LGBTQ individuals or relationships, the toy centers around the 11 colors of the Pride flag, with bricks and figures in monochromatic colors. It’s a symbolic gesture of support for the LGBTQ community.
Tesco has changed its logo to represent the Pride colors
Britain’s biggest grocer Tesco has changed its logo to represent the Pride colors, with its normal logo and the Pride flag color panels under each letter. The picture received 1,500 likes, with over 250 comments and dozens of shares too.
Kim Kardashian West’s Skims is providing Team USA with a range of garments for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
Kim Kardashian West has announced her shapewear company called Skims is the official designer of underwear for female members of Team USA at the Olympics. Just to remind you, after facing a wave of criticism, Kim Kardashian changed the brand name from Kimono to Skims. She has secured the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Skims.com.
The Edmonton Football Team officially changes their name to Elks
Edmonton dropped its longtime name, Eskimos, last year after a similar decision by the NFL’s Washington team amid pressure on franchises to eliminate racist or stereotypical names. Other potential names included the Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles and Elements.
WarnerMedia and Discovery unveil new company name
The newly combined WarnerMedia and Discovery will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, the companies said. The next big player in the streaming wars combined the names of WarnerMedia’s film brand and Discovery — and, as you can see, it’s nothing that would shock you. Not only that, the experts say a bizarre new design of their logo looks like it came straight from the ’90s. What do you think?
SurveyMonkey rebrands as Momentive
The more than 20-year-old company known for its online survey software business – is rebranding under the name Momentive in a bid to better convey its portfolio of experience management services. Unfortunately, the company failed to secure the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Momentive.com which will certainly make it difficult for users to find them online. From a branding perspective, it’s a weird rebrand.
Old Mutual Wealth has completed its rebrand to Quilter
Quilter’s UK investment platform Old Mutual Wealth has completed its rebrand to Quilter. This rebrand follows the renaming of other companies within the Quilter Group over the past few years. The company owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Quilter.com which means their customers can easily find them online.
Front invested in the EBM domain name Front.com, upgrading from FrontApp.com
Only a few months ago, in March 2021, this company had raised $59 million. Front has recently invested in the EBM (exact brand match) domain name Front.com, upgrading from FrontApp.com. According to WHOIS, the domain was previously owned by Fidelity National Information Services Inc., (FIS) an American Fortune 500 company that specializes in a wide range of financial services. Before FIS came into possession of this domain, it was owned by the multinational company SunGard Data Systems Inc. It seems that Front made an excellent move by investing in an EBM domain. In this way, they own their brand name and had snatched it before anyone else did. Front.com is not something that you easily forget, right?
The Oregon Employment Department forgot to renew the registration for its domain name
The Oregon Employment Department’s website for posting economic data went offline because the state neglected to renew the registration for its domain name. The lesson here is clear, an expired domain name is bad for business, bad for your customers and clients, and could end up costing you – maybe even your entire brand – so don’t forget to renew it.
eBay bans sales of adult-only items
If you were hoping to sell something containing sexually explicit content on eBay, you’re going to have to find a different online marketplace. eBay sellers won’t be allowed to use the marketplace to make a profit off of most sexually explicit materials.
Victoria’s Secret is abandoning its Angels
Victoria’s Secret CEO said its Angels were no longer “culturally relevant.” The lingerie giant will partner with activists and entrepreneurs instead. The brand has been working to overhaul its brand image after years of criticism.
Starbucks files trademark application for stadium naming rights
Starbucks Corp. has filed new trademark applications that could let it use its name on a stadium, entertainment space or sports training facility. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben noted the filing on Friday on Twitter, saying this is how a company would file a trademark application if it’s seeking the naming rights to a stadium.
Instagram deleted Pornhub’s account
Pornhub’s Instagram account was removed from the platform on June 16 after a post was reported by a user for “nudity or sexual activity.” News of the pornography giant’s de-platforming was shared via Twitter by anti-trafficking advocate Laila Mickelwait, founder of Traffickinghub, a group dedicated to exposing sexual exploitation on Pornhub. Although the account was reinstated the following morning, it makes a good lesson for all brands out there: if you use social media platforms for your brand, you are completely at mercy of that chosen platform.
Nike announced releasing a new pair of footwear called “The Winged Goddess Of Victory”
Nike, whose brand name derives from the Greek goddess of the same name, meaning victory, celebrated the goddess by releasing a new pair of sneakers. Greek-speakers were quick to spot that at the heel of the left sneaker, an inscription in Greek which was apparently supposed to read Νίκη air, i.e. “Nike air”, was misspelled.
Facebook launches podcasts and live audio streams in the US
Facebook launched podcasts and live audio streams in the US to keep users engaged on its platform and to compete with emerging rivals. The launch comes a couple of months after Facebook said it would test the Live Audio Rooms feature, following the rising popularity of the social media platform Clubhouse.
Microsoft officially announced Windows 11
Microsoft has officially announced that there’s a new version of Windows in town, and it’s called Windows 11. The next version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system was finally revealed at Microsoft’s “What’s next for Windows” event, which the company has been teasing for weeks.
Funding rounds, Acquisitions, Exits and IPOs in June 2021
Take-Two acquired Serbian mobile-gaming company Nordeus for up to $378 million
Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has acquired privately-held Nordeus. Serbian developer will benefit from cooperation with other mobile game developers of the Take-Two family.
Malt has picked up €80 million (≈$97 million)
Malt plans to use this funding to expand its business to more markets. The company operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Malt.com that will surely help them achieve that goal more easily.
Wefox has raised a $650 million Series C funding round
Digital insurance startup Wefox raised $650 million from investors, at a post-money valuation of $3 billion. This funding round represents the largest Series C to date for an insurance tech company globally. The startup owns its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Wefox.com and, in 2020 alone, the company generated $140 million in revenue. How do you build trust with your customers?
Redacted raised $35M in funding to expand its business
Along with its public launch, Redacted announced $35 million in funding, the round that brought the total raised to date to $60 million. The company owns its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Redacted.com. This represents a significant milestone in the company’s growth strategy.
Cloudera signs multi-billion dollar deal to go private
US-based data cloud hosting company Cloudera confirmed a $5.3 billion deal with KKR and CD&R to take the company private. Cloudera operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Cloudera.com. How adapted is your domain to a global audience?
Belvo has raised $43 million Series A funding round
Belvo, a Latin American fintech, announced it secured $43 million through its Series A funding round. The company owns its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Belvo.com and it has built a customer base of more than 60 companies across Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. How do you keep expanding your customer base?
Solana Labshas raised $314.15 million in a private token sale round
Solana Labs, the developer of the Solana blockchain, has raised $314.15 million in a private token sale round. The company uses the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Solana.com that makes sense for anyone who tries to find them online.
Fresha raised $100M for its booking platform
Fresha— a multipurpose commerce tool for independent wellness and beauty businesses such as hair, nail and skin salons, yoga instructors and more, based first and foremost around a completely free subscription platform for those businesses to schedule bookings from customers — has picked up $100 million. Fresha plans to use the funds to expand the list of countries where it operates. It’s great to see that Fresha owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Fresha.com. How adapted is your domain to a global audience?
Circulor announced closed $14 million
Sustainable supply chain traceability technology company Circulor announced that it has closed $14 million in new funding led by the Westly Group. The most recent funding round is intended to expand Circulor’s presence in North America and Asia. Circulor operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Circular.com. They have the best kind of traffic for their website and more trust for the brand.
Templafy raises $60m for its SaaS document platform
The company announced that it raised $60 million in a funding round led by Blue Cloud Ventures. Templafy operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Templafy.com and it has quadrupled its customer base since its series C last April. How do you build a loyal customer base?
Beamery raised $138 million in Series C Funding
Beamery, a London, UK-based operating system for companies to attract, engage and retain top talent, raised US$138m in Series C funding. The company said it had a year-on-year increase of 462% in jobs posted across its customer base. The #startup operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Beamery.com. We like it, it is short and simple, which means it is easy to remember.
Mollie raises another $800 million at a $6.5 billion valuation
Mollie, an Amsterdam-based startup that provides a way for businesses to integrate payments into sites, documents and other services by way of an API, has raised €665 million ($800 million) in an all-equity round that values the company at €5.4 billion ($6.5 billion). Mollie owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Mollie.com. The company has grown through word of mouth up to now. How much do you think a word of mouth can bring changes to your business?
Illumio closed a $225 million Series F funding round at a $2.75 billion valuation
Illumio, a self-styled zero trust unicorn, has closed a $225 million Series F funding by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Illumio owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Illumio(.com) which means their customers can easily find them online. How long does it take for your customers to locate your website?
Ably raised $70 million in funding
Ably, a platform designed to handle real-time communications raised $70 million in funding. Ably uses the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Ably.com. The startup serves 500 customers across 80 countries. How do you reach your global target market?
Electronic Arts (EA) acquired mobile game Studio Playdemic
Electronic Arts will buy Warner Bros. Games’ Playdemic mobile games studio — developer of the popular title “Golf Clash” — for $1.4 billion in cash, the companies announced. The purchase means that EA now owns the notably successful Golf Clash game, too, while also bolstering its lineup of developers geared towards different mobile experiences. Playdemic owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Playdemic.com and it has more than 80 million downloads globally to date, according to the company.
Bequest announces its £1.7million investment and the launch of its life insurance offering
London-based startup Bequest announced its £1.7 million investment and the launch of its life insurance offering as it strives to make sure everyone has access to life insurance that doesn’t break the bank. Bequest operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Bequest.com and the startup has also grown 320% since the pandemic started.
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 June 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.