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September 2021 recap: Which brands and domains made headlines
By Kristina Mišić access_time 19 min read

Every month, as part of our Monthly News Recap series, we give you an overview of the most relevant branding, naming, and domain name news. Here are the most interesting ones, so sit back and enjoy another retrospective of the month behind us.

Abu Dhabi launches its official Internet domain name

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Government Support, represented by the Digital Authority, has launched a new internet domain, “.abudhabi’ and this domain name will be used to promote the emirate locally, regionally and internationally across tourism culture and economy sectors. The aim is to accelerate the emirate’s digital transformation and devise more efficient digital services.

Missoula International Airport dropped the word “international” from its name

The airport previously known as Missoula International Airport officially has a new name: Missoula Montana Airport (MSO).  Airport Director Brian Ellestad tells NBC Montana the board dropped “international” from the name because the airport hasn’t had customs in over a decade. He says the new name reflects current airport operations.

Focus Home Interactive rebranded itself as Focus Entertainment

One of France’s promising video game developers has decided to rebrand the company with the new name: Focus Entertainment. Within a blog post, it was noted that the new title was selected in an effort to be “representative of the desire to diversify its games, products, services and revenue streams.”

NAB is sporting a name change, ‘jab’, in an effort to get more Aussies vaccinated

One of Australia’s biggest banks has undergone a temporary name change in a bid to encourage more Australians to get vaccinated. NAB will change its logo and branding to ‘JAB’ in a national marketing campaign.

Goodbye Mi branding, Xiaomi India officially drops Mi branding

Xiaomi India has announced an official transition of the “Mi” branding on its premium range of products to a “Xiaomi” moniker. In other words, the company will now replace premium “Mi” series products with the new “Xiaomi” logo. The brand will have two sub-brands: ‘Redmi’ and ‘Xiaomi’. The switch is meant to help the company have a unified presence among the global markets it operates in. Should we remind you Xiaomi acquired the domain name Mi.com in 2014? The domain redirects to the official Xiaomi website. In April 2014, Xiaomi’s global boss Hugo Barra tweeted that the company’s website will be Mi.com. Non-native Chinese speakers tend to have trouble pronouncing the “xiao” part of the name, often getting their tongues twisted, so keeping it to a simple “mi” is just another wise decision by this brand.

Bullards has been threatened with legal action Red Bull

The Norwich-based firm called Bullards has received a letter from Red Bull’s lawyers because its name contains the word ‘bull’. The Bullards name was revived in 2015, with the company focusing on gin. Austrian firm Red Bull was launched in 1987, some 150 years after Bullards. Bullards said the claim is ‘ludicrous’ and they are prepared to go to court.

MandM Direct upgraded its domain name from MandMDirect.com to Mandm.com

An online clothing store based in the United Kingdom MandM Direct upgraded its domain name from MandMDirect.com to a shorter Mandm.com that is great for their site’s visitors, considering they have a better chance of arriving at their intended website. 

Calendso rebranded from to Cal.com

In September 2021, 5 months after the first initial launch on Product Hunt, Peer Richelsen, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Cal, announced Calandso is rebranding to Cal.com. The company opted to include .com in its brand name. We are not surprised; they do not miss the opportunity to say how proud they are to own this great domain name.

500 Startups has changed its name to 500 Global

After raising a new fund, 500 Startups has changed its name to 500 Global hoping to find a new headquarters by early next year. The Bay Area startup accelerator acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name 500Global.com that redirects to 500.co. The company also owns the domain 500Startups.com.

Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka has changed its name to Treepz

On September 10th, Nigerian mobility startup Plentywaka announced that it’s taking on the new corporate moniker. One of Africa’s fastest-growing startup companies secured a strong online presence by acquiring the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Treepz.com.

Village Farms International unveiled new corporate branding

Village Farms International, Inc. (“Village Farms” or the “Company”) unveiled new corporate branding and launched its new corporate website on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain VillageFarms.com.


As much as our new branding reflects who we are today, it also encapsulates our plans for the future… Our new corporate brand and website reflect this optimism and confidence.

Michael DeGiglio, CEO of Village Farms

Say hello to TechCrunch+

TechCrunch’s Extra Crunch product is now called TechCrunch+. Guess who owns the domain TechCrunchPlus.com? It’s good to see another brand that protects its online presence.

Intrado has rebranded to Notified®

Intrado Corporation (“Intrado”), a global leader in technology-enabled services, announced its rebranding to Notified®. Notified got the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Notified.com before announcing the big news.


Notified represents the full spectrum of what we do, and rebranding is another meaningful milestone that will further strengthen our business as we meet the rapidly evolving needs of our customers.

Ben Chodor, President of Intrado

Apple has agreed to allow developers to direct customers to other payment options

Apple can no longer prohibit app developers from directing users to payment options outside its App Store. The changes apply to developers worldwide — not just small developers in the U.S. covered by the settlement. Huge opportunity for app developers to focus on building a strong brand around their apps. What does branding an app even mean? We’ve covered this topic!

Google celebrated its 23rd birthday

While Google was originally founded on September 4, 1998, some reports suggest that the company changed its birth date to September 27 in 2005 to make it coincide with the announcement of the record number of pages that the search engine was indexing. Did you know the original name for the massive search engine (let’s face it, the place just about everyone goes to) was BackRub? On September 15, 1997, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain name Google.com. The brand has grown to become one of the most expansive tech companies in the world. 

HomeGoods introduced a new shopping platform

Just in time for holiday decorating, the beloved home décor chain HomeGoods introduced a new shopping platform on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain HomeGoods.com. How prepared is your brand for the holiday shopping madness?


We are excited to expand HomeGoods’ digital footprint so customers can shop whenever they’d like. HomeGoods.com will provide a complementary experience to our stores, allowing shoppers to pair in-store purchases with online finds to bring their vision to life.

Mark DeOliveira, President at TJX Digital US

Amazon has banned over 600 Chinese brands from its platform

The internet giant has banned over 600 Chinese brands (spread across 3,000 seller accounts) over review fraud incidents. A good reminder that building a brand on someone else’s platform comes with a price (that’s often too high, we must say). As long as you don’t build your brand on your own digital space, your domain name, you will be at a mercy of other people’s rules, decisions, changes in algorithms, or sudden shutdowns.

Apple hosted its event at Apple.com

Apple hosted its event on 14th September and introduced 4 new iPhones, 2 new iPads and an updated Apple Watch. The company Apple provided a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company’s TV app across its platforms. 

McDonald’s plans to reduce the plastic in its Happy Meal toys

The company, which sells more than 1 billion toys each year, plans to “drastically” reduce the plastic in its Happy Meal toys worldwide by 2025. The burger giant has pledged to source 100% of its guest packaging materials, such as straws, bags and cutlery. The change is already underway in some countries, including the United Kingdom and France.

Amazon introduced Amazon Glow

Have you heard about the Amazon Glow? It’s a brand new Amazon smart gadget that allows kids to interact with family members and other remote loved ones over video calls. Of course, Amazon acquired the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name AmazonGlow.com so you won’t get lost when looking for this product.

Pringles has changed its popular logo – and the mascot’s new look has divided fans

The new Pringles logo uses a flat design, with much simpler colors and much lighter finishes. Julius Pringles, the character of the brand, has lost hair, now has eyebrows and has changed the red bow tie that he wore before for one that is – in a brand wink – the very name of the potatoes. Despite the company singing the rebrand’s praises, it has not gone down well on the internet, with Twitter users sending the crisp company some pretty passionate thoughts on the new design. What do you think about this change?

Funding rounds, Acquisitions, Exits and IPOs in September 2021

Oviva health app raises $80 million in Series C financing round

A provider of app-based diet and lifestyle coaching services called Oviva raised $80 million in a Series C funding round to expand its product offering. Oviva operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Oviva.com. The company says it’s “more than doubled” both people treated and revenue earned. How do you keep expanding your customer base?

VanMoof raises $128 million Series C funding round

Amsterdam-based startup VanMoof raises $128 million to become the world’s leading e-bike brand. The startup owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain VanMoof.com. The startup has raised $182 million in total. How do you want to be perceived by your potential investors?

Recharge.com has closed a $35 million Series B round of funding

Recharge.com raised €29,8 million ($35 million) in a Series B funding round. The company is operating on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Recharge.com. Today the Recharge platform serves over 3 million customers with sales of over $500 million growing at 50% year-on-year. The company expects to reach over $1 billion within the next 2 years

Stravito raised a $14.6 million (€12.4 million) series A funding round

The Stockholm-based knowledge management solution Stravito announced a €12.4 million ($14.6 million USD) Series A funding round. The startup operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Stravito.com. No doubt, their visitors won’t get lost when they search for their platform.

Flippa announced it secured $11 million in series A funding

To help match business sellers with buyers, the company created an online marketplace for businesses and digital assets. Flippa announced it has raised its first venture-backed round, an $11 million Series A. Flippa operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Flippa.com. The company has over 3 million registered users and added 300,000 new registered users in the past 12 months. How do you keep expanding your user base?

Barcelona-based gaming video platform Gamestry gets $5 million

Barcelona-based gaming video platform Gamestry has snatched up $5 million in seed funding, led by Goodwater Capital, Target Global and Kibo Ventures — turning investors’ heads with a 175x growth rate over the past 12 months. The company uses the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Gamestry.com which opened global visibility for their business. How far in the future do you think when you think about your brand?

Mexico’s Kavak has raised a massive $700 million

A Mexico City-based startup that operates a pre-owned car marketplace in Latin America called Kavak announced that it has raised a massive $700 million in a Series E round that more than doubles the company’s valuation to $8.7 billion. Kavak owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Kavak.com. The startup is eyeing an expansion into “other emerging markets” globally. It will surely be much easier for them with the global .com domain.

Cobo had completed a $40 million Series B funding round

Cobo, a Singapore-based crypto asset management platform, raised a $40 million Series B led by DST Global, A&T Capital, and IMO Ventures. Smartly, Cobo invested in its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Cobo.com. The company has raised a total of $20 million in funding over two rounds. 

PayPal snaps up Japanese buy-now-pay-later unicorn Paidy

PayPal Holdings announced the acquisition of Paidy, a Japanese buy now, pay later (BNPL) service platform, for approximately $2.7 billion (300 billion yen), mostly in cash, to enhance its business in Japan. Marking the latest major tie-up in the fast-growing space of buy now, pay later companies, the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Paidly operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Paidy.com. This represents a significant milestone in the company’s growth strategy.

Insurance startup Marshmallow has raised $85 million

The Series B valuation catapults Marshmallow to a “unicorn” valuation above $1 billion — specifically, $1.25 billion. In a blog post, the UK-based firm said it was gearing up to shake up the “outdated insurance industry” using tech, including AI, providing faster/cheaper insurance to the masses. However, we can’t take our eyes off their name! Do you think it can’t get any better? Marshmallow also owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Marshmallow.com.

Milan-based buy now pay later player Scalapay raised $155 million

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) venture Scalapay has raised $155 million in equity funding, at a $700 million valuation, as part of a Series A investment round led by Tiger Global. Scalapay is operating on the exact brand match domain name Scalapay.com that surely helps them accelerate the growth of its all-in-one shipping platform.

Latvia’s Printify has secured $45 million in investment

Founded in 2015, Latvian print-on-demand service Printify announced a $45 million Series A round, led by Index Ventures. The company owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Printify.com. Printify says it’s now connecting some two million merchants with print providers all over the world — and shipping a million units per month. How do you reach your global market?

Blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has raised $680 million

French startup Sorare has announced that it has raised a significant funding round, bringing its valuation to over €3.6 billion. The company is operating on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Sorare.com that certainly helps their word of marketing. How memorable is your domain name?

Travel experiences marketplace Headout has raised $12 million

Headout, home to world’s most exceptional real-life experiences, has raised $12 million in a Series B financing round led by Glade Brook Capital. Headout plans to use a $12 million financing round to expand the service to a large number of new destinations. The company operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Headout.com. At present, Headout has over 9 million individuals leveraging various experiences offered on the platform.

Freshworks hopes to hit a nearly $9 billion valuation in a U.S. initial public offering

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Freshworks Inc. hopes to hit a nearly $9 billion valuation in its initial public offering (IPO). The company, which rivals Salesforce.com Inc CRM.N, made a significant step when it secured the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Freshworks.com. A good foundation for building a strong brand online.

JumpCloud raised $159 million in Series F at $2.56 billion valuation

Cloud directory-as-a-service provider JumpCloud announced a $159 million Series F investment. The company notched a $2.56 billion valuation to add additional capabilities to its directory platform and drive channel sales. No doubt, their visitors won’t get lost when they search for their platform because they own the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain JumpCloud.com. How do you make it easy for your customers, business partners and potential investors to find your business online?

PassFort has closed a $16.2 million Series A

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) RegTech platform PassFort has closed a Series A funding round, raising $16.2 million. PassFort operates on its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain PassFort.com. The company now has 54 customers in total, saying the majority are in the digital payments space. The company is now set for a scaleup in the implementation of its RegTech solution worldwide.

Headout raised $12 million led by Glade Brook Capital

Online experiences marketplace Headout raised $12 million as a part of its Series B financing round. The seven-year-old startup has chosen the exact brand match domain name Headout.com. The company claims it has grown 800% since January 2021. 

Mercular closed a $1 million in Series A investment round

Online shopping platform Mercular closed a $1 million in Series A investment round, bringing the company’s total raise to $4 million in funding over two rounds. Mercular has chosen the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Mercular.com that makes sense for anyone who tries to find them online.

Canva is now valued at $40 billion after the company raised $200 million

Graphic design and collaboration platform Canva is now valued at $40 billion after the company raised $200 million in a funding round led by investment management firm T.Rowe Price. Australian unicorn secured its EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Canva.com in 2012, as soon as the name was changed from Canvas Chef to Canva, in order to get into every workplace across the globe. Liz Mckenzie, Head of PR and Communications at Canva, shared the story behind Canva.com for our Names With Stories series of interviews, so be sure not to miss it.

Ketch announced it has closed on a Series A1 funding round, raising $20 million

The next-generation data control platform for privacy, governance and security Ketch has brought in an additional $20 million in A1 funding led by Acrew Capital. Ketch is operating on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Ketch.com. Ketch’s customer base grew by more than 300% since its March Series A announcement, and the new funding will go toward expanding its sales and go-to-market teams.

Discord has raised $500 million in a new round of financing

Discord, which allows public and private groups to gather and chat by text, audio and video via its social platform, is now valued at $15 billion. The company upgraded from Discord.app to Discord.com in May 2020. At the start of 2020, it was valued at around $3.5 billion; by the end of 2020, that had doubled to $7 billion. In August this year, CEO Jason Citron said that the company had plans to take that valuation to more like $15 billion.

Egypt-based B2B platform Cartona has raised $4.5 million

Founded in August 2020 by Mahmoud Talaat and Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah, Cartona is a B2B e-commerce marketplace connecting retailers to manufacturers and wholesalers. Cartona announced that it raised $4.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Global Ventures. The company is operating on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Cartona.com. Since its inception, Cartona has acquired over 30,000 users in Cairo and Alexandria and has processed over 400,000 delivered orders with an annualized gross merchandise value of EGP 1 billion ($64 million).

Frontify has closed an equity round of $50 million

Frontify, a brand management software provider, raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Revaia. Frontify owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Frontify.com. The company picked up some 300 customers as the pandemic hit. It now has 5,000 customers in total. Grails team asked this brand to share the story behind its name, here’s what they said.

Shopee has quietly launched a website for sellers in India

Southeast Asian eCommerce giant Shopee appears to be preparing to launch in another international market: India. The company operates on the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain Shopee.com opting for a global presence. Therefore, this decision seems logical.

Andela is valued at $1.5 billion following a $200 million Series E round

Andela, the global network for remote engineering talent, announced $200 million in Series E financing that values the company at $1.5 billion. Andela owns the EBM (Exact Brand Match) domain name Andela.com. The company began a global expansion earlier this year following a regional one last year during the pandemic. How do you reach your global market?

Sinch has signed a definitive deal to acquire Pathwire

Sinch AB (publ), a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pathwire, the leading cloud-based email delivery platform. The acquisition will be financed through a combination of cash, equity and debt facilities. Pathwire uses the EBM (Exact Brand Match) Pathwire.com which opened global visibility for their business.


Don’t forget to check our September interviews:

Names with stories: The story behind CrowdFarming.com

MakeLoveNotPorn.com: Cindy Gallop is fighting the myths of porn with great communication

Names with stories: The story behind SAINTCHIC.com

brand name branding business business name domain domains funding news september startup startup name