In a recent essay, Paul Graham recommended that startups should own their .com domain name or risk being considered marginal or weak. However, .com domains can be very expensive, especially for younger startups. We used the CB Insights database to analyze the trends in startup domain suffixes over time, such as the rise of the .io suffix.
Traditional .com domains still dominate amongst the more than 25,000 tech companies funded since 2010, with 20,000+ companies choosing a .com domain for a 81% share of all suffixes.
But other domain suffixes are also popular. These include .net and .co domains, which proved to be the most popular, followed by .io which saw nearly 350 funded tech companies choosing that domain. After the top 3, the list is populated mostly by more geography-specific domains such as .de (Germany), .cn (China), and .jp (Japan). Also, .tv has been used by more than 100 companies, including well-known services Twitch.tv, blip.tv, and acfun.tv. The .ly domain, often considered a go-to suffix for Silicon Valley startups, isn’t really all that popular.