In today’s Domain Movers we see a rebrand, Walmart is prepping 2 online brand launches and more. I get pretty into detail with a couple of these but I felt it was best to do so.
Here is the latest:
SmarterGovernment.com has been acquired by ESRI, which is a mapping and analytics software company. The domain name held a buy now of $2,295
Walmart is prepping the launch of two new online brands. Since these are online brands, the domain name is very important with the brand. They failed to do a good job at this IMO, with at least one. A new luxury mattress and bedding brand, called All’s Well which is stylized as Allswell. All’s not well with the domain name, as Walmart has chosen to use AllswellHome.com which appears to be run by Alixon Broad Marketing and Communications and the terms of service say its operated by Bonobos, Inc. which Walmart also recently acquired. The AllswellHome.com domain was acquired from HugeDomains.com for likely under $3K around August 2, 2017 time frame. AllsWell.com is owned by a health care services provider.
Mattress startups have almost ALL acquired premium domain names (most upgrading at some point). Casper is Casper.com, Tuft & Needle is TN.com, Lull is Lull.com, Purple acquired Purple.com recently etc. so branding as Allswell and not owning Allswell.com is an issue, it shows weakness and lacks trust by not owning the exact match .com domain. Since the brand is not going to have Walmart behind it, the brand name is important to build trust and have the “luxury” feel. So many great brand names are available with matching .com premium domains, not sure why they were stuck on one they couldn’t acquire the exact match .com domain!
Brand launch #2 for Walmart is called Co Squared, a cosmetics type brand similar to Glossier.com. This one Walmart may have gotten right as CoSquared.com recently moved into whois privacy at GoDaddy and is housing MarkMonitor name servers, the corporate domain name registrar used by Walmart. The domain name was owned by Collins Consulting prior and is not resolving currently.
EmpoweredHealth.com has been acquired by domain name buyer brokerage service Marksmen for a currently unknown client. The domain name was owned by BuyDomains.com prior, so it was an easy buy for them. The domain held a buy now of $4,688
Formmed HealthCare AG has acquired VitaminCheck.com from its past owners at Afternic.com. The domain name held an offering price of $2,800.
ModernOil.com has been acquired by Valvoline and is redirecting to a page on Valvoline.com for “Modern Engine” motor oil, for engines 2012 and newer. Valvoline is using the domain name in marketing, press release etc. to learn more about the modern engine oil.
Lending.com has transferred out of Network Solutions (wise move) to corporate domain name registrar CSC Corporate Domains. The domain name is owned by Finance Of America Mortgage but interestingly isn’t being used currently, which is a HUGE mistake.
I did a little digging back on this domain and it was owned by B2R Holdings, which rebranded as Lending.com in October 2015. It appeared that Blackstone was backing this in some way (aka: “Lending.com was founded with funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.”) Jason Hogg and Nick Gould were behind the business. May 1, 2015 the domain came out of whois privacy and showed 1-800-Lending, LP as the owners with a RealtyDirect.com email address. The domain then transferred to GoDaddy under whois privacy. This is in-line with B2R rebranding and likely acquiring the domain. In August 2017 the domain transferred out of GoDaddy and to Network Solutions under Finance Of America Mortgage LLC. Based on this, Finance of America, which is part of Blackstone Group, acquired B2R Finance and folded it into Finance of America Commercial and the domain changed ownership.
To note, Blackstone Group mainly uses corporate domain name registrar MarkMonitor, where Blackstone.com is registered.
PhishMe has been acquired by a group of private equity firms and has rebranded to Cofense.com in the process. PhishMe, Inc. owns about 1,100 domain names in total (basically all low value names). Cofense.com which was registered only 134 days ago on October 16, 2017 by a company called JustTheWord.com which appears to be part of Catchword Branding. It’s not clear if the company was used by PhishMe or if they simply registered the domain in October 2017 but I’d lean towards PhishMe used the service. PhishMe filed a TM on Cofense in November 2017. Catchword has a nice Naming Guide that every domain investor should read. I do not agree with the lack of effort or direction provided from them on the importance of the domain name, since they say it’s “OK” to add a “descriptor” (CatchwordBranding.com or MethodHome.com are two examples provided) to your domain if the exact match is not available. I strongly disagree with that. Branding as one thing and not being consistent with your brand is a bad choice. It creates unnecessary confusion, shows weakness and opens your brand to be lost in the mix and potentially force you to rebrand. They do show some love towards domains, as they should and a lot of the naming process does revolve around the chance of securing the exact match .com domain name.
CoFence.com would be a good “cover purchase” to note and was not acquired at this point.
Fallout.com is confirmed via whois that ZeniMax Media were the buyers. Subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks is the maker of the popular Fallout game. Fallout.com is currently redirecting to the sub-domain: fallout.bethesda.net which is promoting Fallout4 currently.