How Gagan Bayani Acquired Maven.com: Find a Domain Broker, Good Names Require Finesse

Gagan Biyani is a successful serial entrepreneur. His career includes co-founding education platform Udemy and creating meal delivery company Sprig, which happened to operate on Sprig.com.

In 2020, Biyani went back to his education platform roots to create a then-unnamed company to offer a new destination for cohort-based courses. Despite having no name for his company, Gagan Biyani and his team launched 4 courses, raised $5 million in funding, and produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

It’s only recently that he announced the company name Maven, operating on the Maven.com domain name, after months of operating a nameless startup.

How did Biyani manage to secure the Maven.com domain name? Fortunately, there’s a Twitter thread for that, where Biyani shared his journey of firstly naming the company, and secondly acquiring the domain name.

This Twitter thread describes the whole journey, but ultimately, Biyani named his brand Maven and was able to secure the use of Maven.com. A key point is that Biyani had help from experts both on naming his company and acquiring the domain name.

According to WHOIS, Maven.com is currently owned by General Motors, but Biyani was able to achieve a cash plus equity deal to eventually own the domain name while having full use of the name in the short term.

Biyani gave some advice for anyone considering acquiring a premium domain name for their company: hire a domain buyer broker

According to Biyani:

Find a domain broker. Do not negotiate for a domain without someone like Krutal helping! No really, don’t even reach out without their help.

Good names require finesse; sometimes you want to go through the front door, sometimes you use a pseudonym to hide your identity.

Krutal is Krutal Desai, an entrepreneur that was experienced in domain name negotiations. Desai’s company, IRL, operates on the IRL.com domain.

Biyani also advised creativity when it comes to getting a domain name deal closed:

Learn what matters to the owner. We got creative to find the intersection between what we could afford and what the owner would accept.

In Biyani’s case, creativity meant agreeing to a part-cash, part-stock transaction, but other creative methods could include lease-to-own, full equity, or even throwing in products or swag to seal the deal.

Biyani’s Maven is now live at Maven.com, with upcoming courses including “Fundamentals of Bitcoin & Crypto,” and “The Minimalist Entrepreneur.”

 

About James Iles

James Iles is a domain name industry writer and publisher of JamesNames.com. You can contact me here, or follow me on Twitter @jamesiles.

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