folder Filed in Reports
We analyzed 1587 funded startups and their domain name choices
By SmartBranding Team access_time 5 min read

Mark Upgrade analyzed 1587 startups that got funding and their domain name choices. Here’s what we have learned:

Exact Brand Match Domain Names

908 out of 1587 funded startups have the exact brand match domain name.

Image for post

Rising your business above the noise in a crowded digital space is never easy. However, a good brand name with the exact match .com domain name instantly results in a stronger brand, better customer recognition, and retention, direct traffic, more cost-effective advertising, wider possibilities for expansion and growth, more trust from business partners and investors, and credibility in your market. Most worldwide known brands operate on their exact brand match .com domain names.

What are the risks for startups that do not have an EBM domain name?

The exact brand match version of your brand name can be owned by someone else, and because humans are creatures of habit, that is where most of the website traffic is going to go. You want to make sure that when your potential clients, partners, and investors search for your brand online, they land on your website and not someone else’s.


  • All advertising budget actually working for another business
  • Increased marketing cost to clarify the correct web address
  • Loss of credibility with potential and existing clients, partners and investors.
  • Lost Emails
  • Complete re-brand

The number of startups with a .com domain name extension

Image for post

Customers worldwide naturally tend to trust .com. If you plan on having global reach (and you should always think big), a unique domain with a .com extension will rank your brand at the top of the search when people look up your business online. Local extensions work for local markets so if you are not building your brand on .com, you risk alienating or completely losing your audience outside of the country of origin of your domain name. Using a .com is the most authoritative way of guaranteeing your site will be found on the web.

1205 out of 1548 startups have a .com domain extension (39 startups don’t have any domain name).

Image for post

The most popular domain extensions other than .com:

80 startups with .io domain name extension, 46 startups with .co, 29 with .ai, 11 with .me, 7 with .in, 5 with .tv, 4 startups with .gg, 4 startups with .ly, 4 startups with .bio, 4 startups with .app, 3 startups with .ca, 3 startups with .fm, 3 startups with .mx, 2 startups with .health, 1 startup with .im, 1 startup with .africa, 1 startup with .farm, 1 startup with .nyc, 1 startup with .xyz, 1 startup with .security, 1 startup with .ws, 1 startup with .au, 1 startup with .audio, 1 startup with .it, 1 startup with .works, 1 startup with .earth, 1 startup with .asia, and 1 startup with .at domain extension.

Word Count

824 startups have a single word as their domain name, 668 companies have two words as their domain name and 52 startups have three words as their domain.

Image for post

Short domain names are memorable. That instantly results in easier client conversions, word of mouth, lower advertising cost, more effective marketing campaigns. Short domain names have a better chance of being catchy and are more likely to stick in someone’s head. Also, since they take up less room, they are easier to include on any printed material.

Business owners often add descriptive words (such as: “Get”, “My”, ”WeAre”, etc)that are not actually a part of their business name just so they can get a domain name that is available or cheaper. Sooner or later, they will end up being stuck with that word as it defines and limits their business (think: — or —, for example). Three-word domains are usually a bad idea.

Costs: Re-brand or launching a new brand — the cost of both is high and results in lost customer trust on top of all expenses.

Numbers and dashes

We found out that 33 startups have chosen to include numbers in their domain name, while 9 of them contain a dash.

Numbers can be confusing, is it “5” or “five“? Dash? Your customers will misplace or forget the dash. These characters can make your site name harder to type or remember.

Image for post

Costs: You will spend more money on advertising since you need to work harder on making your prospects, customers, partners, and investors remember your domain name.

Also, you’ll probably miss some important emails. How do you think your customers, clients, and business partners will react to it? Will you feel embarrassed every time you need to explain what happened? Unfortunately, you’ll lose trust and reputation.

The average length of the domains

Image for post

The fewer characters your domain has the easier it’ll be to type, read, say, remember, and recall. Also, shorter domain names will fit better on your printed material, business cards, brochures, etc.

When you invest in a good domain name you are not buying a bunch of letters. You are buying a reputation.

Tatiana Bonneau, a founder and Managing Director of MarkUpgrade

Costs: Long domain names do affect user experience. The last thing you’d want to happen is a potential customer, client, business partner, or investor to give up on finding your products or services, simply because they couldn’t remember the correct number of letters to get to your site. Also, very long domain names will look spammy and you will lose credibility and trust.

The number of startups that exited

At the time we collected the data, 200 out of 1587 funded startups exited. This number is probably higher on this day.

144 startups (out of 200) have the Exact Brand Match domain name.

Image for post

How many funded startups are active today?

899 out of 1587 startups have an active status as of 4th July 2019 while 688 of them are not online.

Image for post

We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat with someone about the process of acquiring your best domain name, book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade.We are always happy to hear from you.

Data source: Seed-DB Accelerators Y Combinator

brand name branding domain domain name domain names domains EBM funding startup name startups