Domain Preferences of Y Combinator Companies
Y Combinator (YC) is a seed funding company that was launched in 2005. Since then it has funded more than 2 thousand companies including some popular ones such as Dropbox, Stripe, Airbnb, Reddit, Zapier, Coinbase, and Twitch.
We have analyzed the domain names of Y Combinator companies to see what kind of domain names they use.
Y Combinator on a Glimpse
The valuation of Y Combinator companies was over $150 Billion as of October 2019, totally. In their own words:
“Twice a year, we invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. We have two batches per year – one from January through March and one from June through August.”
This batch took place 30 times until now. The latest one was in Winter 2020. We analyzed 2,212 companies funded by Y Combinator from 2005 to 2020.
Investments of Y Combinator by Years
Having invested in more than 2,000 companies since its establishment, Y Combinator has increased the number of companies it has invested, especially in recent years. They invested 280 companies in 2018, 360 companies in 2019 and 172 companies in 2020 (as of May 2020).
Y Combinator’s Investment Categories
Y Combinator invests in 26 categories. B2B, consumer, and marketplace are the leading categories of the investment. 478 B2B (business-to-business) companies have been funded until now. Consumer category with 428 companies, and marketplace category with 163 companies are the second and third most funded categories.
Most Visited Websites
The most visited companies’ websites are as below:
As seen on the list, 9 out of 10 companies preferred the .com extension. The only company that does not use a .com domain as the main website is Twitch. Although the company uses the .tv version, they also own twitch.com.
(Most popular websites data was taken from Alexa.)
Most Funded Companies
The most funded companies backed by Y Combinator are as follows:
All of the top-funded companies are using .com domain names. 9 of them are using the exact-match .com domain name. Only Cruise uses a prefix: getcruise.com
(Most funded companies data was taken from the Y Combinator Database)
1,734 companies out of 2,212 prefer .com extension (78.5%).
.io is the second most preferred extension with 128 companies (5.8%). 21 of the 172 companies funded in the last year use the .io extension.
Third, fourth and fifth most used extensions are .co, .ai and .org, respectively. .ai is often preferred by artificial intelligence (AI) companies such as Lofty.ai and People.ai.
gTLD – ccTLD Distribution
Although generic top-level extensions (gTLD) are preferred more, we also see lots of startups use country-code extensions (ccTLD) such as .co (Colombia), .io (British Indian Ocean Territory), and .ai (Anguilla). Companies use country extensions because of their popularity or potential of being an abbreviation of their business area: .co (abbr. of “company” – similar to .com), .ai (artificial intelligence), .io (popular among startups) etc.
85.76% of companies preferred gTLD and the rest of the companies (14.24%) use ccTLD.
Domain Creation Dates
391 companies registered their domains and were funded by Y Combinator in the same year. When we look at the year difference between funding and registration year, there are 809 domains whose difference is 2 years. We can say these domains are hand-registered.
Not all 2,212 domains have websites. 1,671 of the domain names have active websites (with at least one page). The remaining companies no longer exist.
We said “Don’t choose your domain name too long” in our article Don’ts of Choosing a Domain Name. Domain name length of Y Combinator companies is as shown in the chart.
There are 372 companies whose domain length is 8-letter. There are no domain names on the list with more than 25 characters.
Domain Purchases of Y Combinator Companies
At least 131 of the 2,212 companies backed by Y Combinator purchased their domain names from the previous owners, according to Namebio records. 90% of these domain purchases are .com and the remaining ones are .io, .co and .me. 118 out of 135 companies preferred the com extension.
Fintech company Cover, funded in 2016, paid $825,000 for cover.com. You can find the story of that purchase on this blog post written by the co-founder of Cover.
Presto, B2B service for restaurants, paid $150,000 to buy the exact match .com domain name.
The other fintech company Handle paid $95,378 for Handle.com. The fourth most expensive sale is fountain.com, which was sold for $95,000.
Top 10 Domain Registrars
There are 128 registrars used by the Y Combinator companies. The first 10 registrars are as shown in the chart. GoDaddy is the most preferred registrar by Y Combinator companies. Namecheap is the second and Google is the third one.
.COM Preference by Years
.com, the king of domain extensions, is the most preferred extension with 78%. But it seems that .com preference is declining in recent years. As seen in the graph; the preference of .com, which was almost 100% in companies funded in 2005, has decreased to 57% in companies funded in 2020. This is mostly because of “all good .com domain names are taken”. Therefore, the startups have to choose other extensions than .com if they can’t purchase the .com domain.
- .com is by far the most preferred extension by Y Combinator companies.
- The preference rate of extensions other than .com increases year after year. However; companies that get funded with high figures upgrade their domain names to their exact-match .com domains.
- .io extension is gaining popularity among startups that founded in the last years.
- Almost 60% of Y Combinator Companies Uses Exact Match .COM Domain Names.
- 24 of every 100 companies funded by Y Combinator, on average, no longer exist.
What do you think about the domain name choices of companies funded by Y Combinator?
Domain Names of Top Y Combinator Companies by Valuation
|Stripe||stripe.com||12 September 1995|
|Airbnb||airbnb.com||5 August 2008|
|Cruise||getcruise.com||12 December 2002|
|Doordash||doordash.com||18 June 2013|
|Coinbase||coinbase.com||2 July 2011|
|Instacart||instacart.com||31 October 1996|
|Dropbox||dropbox.com||28 June 1995|
|Ginkgo Bioworks||ginkgobioworks.com||20 June 2008|
|Gusto||gusto.com||23 August 1995|
|Flexport||flexport.com||7 January 2013|
|Rappi||rappi.com||30 June 2002|
|Brex||brex.com||22 October 1998|
|reddit.com||29 April 2005|
|GitLab||gitlab.com||15 January 2004|
|PagerDuty||pagerduty.com||12 February 2009|
|Checkr||checkr.com||5 June 2005|
|Segment||segment.com||6 July 1998|
|Docker||docker.com||25 January 1995|
|Scale||scale.com||29 December 1997|
|Faire||ffaire.com||22 April 1998|
|Twitch||twitch.tv||8 June 2009|
|PlanGrid||plangrid.com||11 December 2011|
|Mixpanel||mixpanel.com||13 March 2007|
|Amplitude||amplitude.com||9 May 1996|
|Optimizely||optimizely.com||11 January 2010|
|Boom Supersonic||boomsupersonic.com||21 July 2016|
|Grin||grin.com||3 October 1995|
|Meesho||meesho.com||17 October 2015|
|Algolia||algolia.com||22 April 2012|
|GOAT||goat.com||31 May 1995|
|Zapier||zapier.com||30 October 2011|
|MessageBird||messagebird.com||10 November 2008|
|Standard Cognition||standard.ai||16 December 2017|
|Memebox||memebox.com||15 November 2006|
|Embark||embarktrucks.com||30 January 2017|
|Helion Energy||helionenergy.com||25 August 2008|
|EquipmentShare||equipmentshare.com||19 July 2004|
|SendBird||sendbird.com||4 August 2013|
|Rescale||rescale.com||13 November 2002|
|GoCardless||gocardless.com||14 April 1999|
|Rigetti Computing||rigetti.com||16 February 2013|
|Razorpay||razorpay.com||23 August 2013|
|North||bynorth.com||18 January 2012|
|Relativity Space||relativityspace.com||1 September 2015|
|Podium||podium.com||18 September 1997|
|Benchling||benchling.com||23 February 2012|
|Ironclad||ironcladapp.com||7 November 2014|
|Newfront||newfrontinsurance.com||6 April 2018|
|InfluxData||influxdata.com||24 June 2014|
|Webflow||webflow.com||31 March 2003|
|People.ai||people.ai||15 December 2017|
|Weebly||weebly.com||29 March 2006|
|Xendit||xendit.co||20 October 2014|
|Matterport Inc||matterport.com||9 June 2011|
|EasyPost||easypost.com||18 January 1998|
|Sift||sift.com||19 August 1995|
|The Athletic||theathletic.com||10 December 2000|
|Mattermost||mattermost.com||22 December 2012|
|WePay||wepay.com||6 December 1998|
|Vidyard||vidyard.com||27 January 2011|
|Weave||getweave.com||29 July 2010|
|Nurx||nurx.com||16 May 2000|
|Proxy, Inc||proxy.com||3 November 1994|
|Heap||heap.io||25 December 2011|
|Presto||presto.com||26 September 1996|
|Payfazz||payfazz.com||11 February 2016|
|MemSQL||memsql.com||30 January 2011|
|Fivetran||fivetran.com||3 August 2012|
|Rippling||rippling.com||25 February 2002|
|Clever||clever.com||9 March 1995|
|Heroku||heroku.com||15 June 2007|
|Fivestars||fivestars.com||29 August 2002|
|CoreOS||coreos.com||13 August 2005|
|ClearTax||cleartax.in||1 March 2011|
|Quero Education||quero.education||15 June 2016|
|Ridecell||ridecell.com||1 February 2008|
|HelloSign||hellosign.com||5 March 2004|
|GrubMarket Inc||grubmarket.com||8 July 2013|
|Lattice||lattice.com||11 October 1996|
|Unbabel||unbabel.com||23 December 2000|
|Athelas Inc||athelas.com||3 July 2010|
|Oh My Green||ohmygreen.com||10 August 2012|
|Lever||lever.co||20 July 2010|
|Atrium||atrium.co||26 September 2014|
|Zeus||zeusliving.com||9 September 2015|
|Front||frontapp.com||30 August 2011|
|Le Tote||letote.com||29 March 2012|
|ShipBob||shipbob.com||12 March 2014|
|Snapdocs||snapdocs.com||16 January 2005|
|GitPrime||gitprime.com||21 May 2014|
|Scribd||scribd.com||24 September 2006|
|Guesty||guesty.com||4 December 2003|
|Axoni||axoni.com||12 October 2013|
|Lob||lob.com||24 August 1995|
|Notable||notablelabs.com||9 February 2015|
|Atomwise Inc||atomwise.com||17 December 2012|
|Flutterwave Inc||flutterwave.com||31 March 2015|
|Panorama Education||panoramaed.com||6 April 2012|
|FutureAdvisor||futureadvisor.com||13 November 2003|
|SFOX||sfox.com||19 December 2012|
|Lambda School||lambdaschool.com||18 May 2016|
|ZeroDown||zerodown.com||26 August 2003|
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