Data Driven: What Domains Were Startups Using in Q3 2021?

In the third quarter of 2021, running from July 1 to September 30, 662 companies and solopreneurs added projects to Crunchbase, one of the largest databases for startup and established company data. Fortunately for this article, Crunchbase data includes domain names, which meant I was able to take a look at the type of domain names startups used in Q3 of 2021.


Data Overview

This analysis contains data from 662 startups that are listed on Crunchbase as being founded in Q3 of 2021, between July 1st and September 30th. The data is directly from Crunchbase and focuses solely on the domain name listed as each company website.



In total, there are 82 different domain extensions in use between the 662 companies. That’s a sizable number of TLDs for a relatively small data set. However, it’s interesting to note that 46 of those 82 extensions have just one occurrence within the data set.

As you might expect, the dominant extension is .com with 58.76% of companies using .com domains. In a distant second is .io with 6.50% and third is .co with 3.93%.

Here is a table containing the top 10 extensions used by startups in Q3 of 2021.

wdt_ID Extension Percentage Usage
1 com 58.76
2 io 6.50
3 co 3.93
4 in 3.32
5 app 2.42
6 ai 2.11
7 1.51
8 org 1.36
9 1.21
10 id 1.06


New gTLDs

With 82 different extensions in use, it’s unsurprising to learn that many of those are new gTLDs (ngTLDs). In fact, 31 of the 82 domain extensions are in the ngTLD category, but how many startups are actually using them?

The answer, as it turns out, is very few. NgTLD domain names account for 9.37% of all domain names in this data set. The most popular ngTLD by far is .app, with 2.42% usage. In second is .online and .xyz, tied with 0.60%.

This does surprise me. The usage case for ngTLDs, for me, is offering startups the opportunity to get a better, more succinct domain name than they may be able to get in traditional extensions (for example, versus In this data set, at least, it doesn’t really seem to be the case.


Domain Length

The average length of all domains in our dataset is 9.4 characters. The shortest domain is, used by Functionland, a blockchain-attached storage provider. The longest domain is, ironically abbreviated on the company’s website to “DRONE.”

Among .com domains, the average length is slightly longer, at 10.6 characters, with the shortest name being, which is used by a venture capital firm. For .co domains, the average length is 7.6, and .io is 7.5.



In Q1 of 2021, I performed a similar analysis. A comparison of Q1 and Q3 shows similar usage stats for the domain extensions. First, second, and third are claimed by .com, .io, and .co respectively on each occasion. Among ngTLDs, .app continues to be the extension of choice.


Notable Names

While most startups tend to register a domain name rather than purchase one on the aftermarket, there are a few exceptions. Here are three notable domain names acquired by companies founded in Q3 2021. – acquired for a mid-six-figure fee as an upgrade from – WHOIS history suggests this might have been acquired earlier in 2021. – the company used to pay for the name in installments.



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