Most popular domain extensions for startups in Q4 2015

After analyzing 449 newly funded start-ups that raised a combined 500+ million dollars in funding during the first quarter of 2015 , 748 newly funded startups who raised 1.9 billion dollars in funding during the second quarter 2015 and 867 newly funded startups who raised 4 billion dollars during the third quarter of 2015  I’m back with a Q4 report which is based on 1037 newly funded startups who raised a staggering 4.8 billion dollars in funding during the last 3 months of 2015.

Data doesn’t lie so this report gives you great insights in which domain name extensions are preferred among newly started companies across the globe. .Com has been dominating with a market share of more than 75% during the three quarters of 2015 while the ccTLDs grew from 8 to 12%. The new gTLDs have been performing poorly so far with a combined market share below 0.5% in Q1 till Q3.

So what (if anything) has changed during the last quarter of the year? Let’s find out!

popular domain name extensions for startups in Q4 2015

.Com keeps it’s dominant position with pretty much the same percentage of ownership as the rest of the year, 74.1%.  The ccTLDs continue to claim a bigger piece of the pie every quarter. More than 15% of startups in Q4 launched with a ccTLD with India being the main driver of this growth as .In has proven to be a popular alternative for a .Com name for the many new startups that the country is producing.

.Co and .Io were less popular alternatives during Q4 with a combined 6.1% of start-ups choosing for one of these extensions.

The new gTLDs did a lot better in Q4 with 12 startups and grabbed a little more than 1% of the pie during Q4 outperforming .Net, .Org, .Me and .TV. It still is a pretty poor performance when you keep in mind the new Gs exist of over 350 domain name extensions for startups to choose from.

Doron Vermaat

Doron has over a decade of professional experience in marketing and business development for technology startups in both Europe and Asia. He is the product guy behind domain name management software, Efty and the founder of High West a specialized recruiter for tech and digital talent. In his spare time, he moonlights as a domain name investor. He lives in bustling Hong Kong with his wife Fay, daughter Isla and their rescue dog Pepper.

20 thoughts on “Most popular domain extensions for startups in Q4 2015

  1. Thanks very much Doron for the interesting data on domain extensions used by newly funded startups.

    In your pie chart for Q4 2015 how many of the 160 startups using their ccTLD were .in domains and what percentage is this of the total for all extensions?

  2. .co is still good, better than .net combined with .org. People says that start up using .net or .org only drive traffic to .com of same sld. But it is not happened on .co or .io, is it?

          1. Do you think the bleed has stopped? As mentioned I have had several customers explain that they put .com at the end of our .ca’s as recently as last fall when I asked. I could ask again but instead I ALWAYS buy the .com if I can afford it. 20+ year habits take a long time to break.

          2. I also prefer .Com and would always advice anyone to try and get the .Com before considering alternatives. But I do believe that extensions such as .co, .io or .me are so common now on the web that the bleed to the .com versions of these sites is a lot less than it was 4 years ago. Definitely not 60%. I doubt it is even more than 6%.

            In fact, I’d say it’s most likely less than 1%

            Let’s look at Vine, the popular social network that uses a .Co.

            Let’s say that 100% of the traffic to (which is where redirects too) is coming from people that are looking for Based on data that would be a bleed of 230k visitors/month on the 34M visitors that gets monthly. That’s a “bleed” of 0.67%.

          3. I definitely disagree that the bleed is under even 20% today. I would bet that most people type .com on the end of almost every new gtld. Do you want 20+% of your customers or even 1 going to the .com equivalent? I don’t.
            My money is on .com and cctld’s. It will take years for the general public to type anything other that .com at the end of a url. I own some .co’s as well but I always offer to throw them in with the .com if the person wants them for free. To date no one has taken the bait.

  3. I am assuming that most of those non-com start-ups (except ccTLDs) will move to .com if they succeed and get more funding.

    Virtually it is .com or country code….

  4. If you add all the .com, the Country Codes and Alternative extensions (.TV, Info, .net .org .co etc ) there is nothing left but a morsel of the Pie.

    Not a good sign for the New gTLD’s neither the fact that there is no resale market nor public awareness.
    .com will be like FM Radio… my Arse!

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