man in Tesla

Why Musk Spent $11 million on Domain

Every so often we at Namecheap like to look into the stories behind companies and the domains they acquire, and why.

Let’s take a look at Tesla.

From the beginning, Tesla owned

Then in 2016 Tesla acquired the domain name, a domain that was registered well before electric vehicles were even a figment of Elon Musk’s imagination. It wasn’t until December 2018 whenMusk finally revealed how much money Tesla had paid for the domain:

$11 million is a lot of money for a domain name!

Musk is no stranger to valuable domain names. He started an online bank at in 1999 and sold that business to PayPal.

In 2017 Musk felt a bit nostalgic and bought the domain name back from PayPal because it was no longer using it.

He has used the domain to sell hats and (apparently) flamethrowers for his Boring Company, but right now it just leads to a website with the letter X on it.

The purchase price for wasn’t disclosed but single letter domain names are extremely rare and valuable. A Japanese internet company paid $6.8 million to acquire in 2014. Musk surely paid millions of dollars to recapture

Why the Domain Didn’t Cut It

The domain name had a few problems, which is why Elon Musk was willing to pay so much money for

First, big companies feel they need to own the exact match of their company name in .com. There’s something “cheap” feeling about for a company called Tesla. Shouldn’t Tesla, one of the world’s most admired and cutting-edge companies, own and not

Another issue is that many people probably typed in when they meant to go to the website. Customers and suppliers probably sent emails to instead of, too. Fortunately for Tesla, the domain wasn’t being used in a nefarious way, but this could have been a problem. It was, at the very least, a nuisance.

But most importantly, Tesla is no longer just a car company. It is introducing the Powerwall battery storage system. It even has a solar roof.

The company was simply outgrowing the ‘motors’ label. can be used for every product and service the company may invent in the future.

Andrew Allemann avatar

Andrew Allemann

Andrew is the founder and editor of Domain Name Wire, a publication that has been covering domain names since 2005. He has personally written over 10,000 posts covering domain name sales, policy, and strategies for domain name owners. Andrew has been quoted in stories about domain names in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and Fortune. More articles written by Andrew .

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