Microsoft Ventures Fund has rebranded as M12 and relaunched the venture on the domain name M12.vc
Last week I had noticed that M12.com had been acquired from Name Administration Inc. for an undisclosed amount. At the time, I had noted that M12.vc made a name server change the very same day, which was owned by Microsoft.
Microsoft has announced a name change / rebrand to M12 for its Microsoft Ventures Fund.
Microsoft Ventures was housed on the domain name MicrosoftVentures.com and is now home at M12.vc, a ccTLD domain name extension for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
What is the meaning behind the M12 brand name? As stated in the VentureBeat.com article linked above:
Well, the “M” stands for Microsoft and the “12” represents the number of letters in the word “entrepreneur.”
Microsoft acquired at least 3 domain name assets for this rebrand, that were already owned by somebody else.
M12.vc was already registered and owned by Katie Bush Graphic Design. The domain was registered on December 14, 2017 and was acquired by brand protection service MarkMonitor on or about March 17, 2018 for an undisclosed amount. Interestingly, KBD helps tech and vc companies build brands. It is not clear if KBD was working with Microsoft. I did reach out to them but have not heard back at time of publishing.
M12.ventures which was also owned by KBD and registered December 14, 2017.
M12.com was acquired from its past owner, Name Administration Inc. (Frank Schilling) The domain has been registered since May 14, 2004. I also reached out to Frank directly to see if he could share the sales price, but did not hear back at time of publishing.
It’s interesting that Microsoft choose to use M12.vc, a likely play on “Venture Capital”, instead of using the more common .com domain. It’s very likely that Microsoft paid a premium for M12.com, but is only using it for a redirect/brand securing measure.
Microsoft does have MX (email) records set on M12.vc but does NOT on M12.com, so it’s very likely they will lose email to the .com, which will bounce if no MX (or CNAME) records are present. One “miss” by Microsoft was M12vc.com, which was registered this morning at Namesilo, under whois privacy. It’s fairly common for people to add the TLD to the domain name and then add the common .com TLD after it. This mainly happens in word of mouth talk. “Hey, email Bob at M12. What’s his email? Bob @ M12 dot vc” Which can result in, m12vc.com, as the “dot” vc isn’t common and one may assume it was M12vc.com.
I like the M12 name, not loving the M12.vc domain though.