It’s exciting news in the domain industry. Recently Eko.com was sold for a whopping $1.5 million to become the 3rd largest publicly reported domain sale of the year. This sale illustrates a tough issue faced by startups around the world aspiring to become global players.
The new owner is USA-based media technology startup Eko. The company was founded in 2010 using HelloEko.com. With several rounds of funding to reach a total of $37 million, Eko is well positioned to upgrade its domain to Eko.com. The upgrade will certainly bring trust and prestige to the company.
However, this creates a challenge for startups around the world with the same name. For example, USA-based software startup Eko with $28 million funding uses EkoHealth.com; Thailand-based mobile tool maker Eko with $2 million funding operates from EkoApp.com; and India-based fintech platform Eko with $6 million funding owns eko.co.in.
There is another Eko too – in China. Eko (宜可) was founded in 1997 and has become a global supplier of stainless-steel trash cans. Its American subsidiary operates from EkoUSA.com. The company has also registered EKO as a trademark in over 70 countries.
Once Eko.com becomes the corporate domain of the USA-based media technology startup, the domain will likely be unavailable for a long long time for other companies to acquire. This means it will almost be impossible for other companies with the same name to upgrade to Eko.com.
Here is the lesson: if you aspire to be a global player, get the .com domain matching your brand from day one. Otherwise, you may have to settle for a subpar domain or have to rebrand in order to get the brand-matching .com domain. Is it vital? Yes, because most major brands in the world own their brand-matching .com domains.
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