Why Musk Spent $11 million on Tesla.com 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 TeslaMotors.com.
$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 X.com in 1999 and sold that business to PayPal.
In 2017 Musk felt a bit nostalgic and bought the X.com 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 X.com wasn’t disclosed but single letter domain names are extremely rare and valuable. A Japanese internet company paid $6.8 million to acquire Z.com in 2014. Musk surely paid millions of dollars to recapture X.com.
Why the Domain TeslaMotors.com Didn’t Cut It
The TeslaMotors.com domain name had a few problems, which is why Elon Musk was willing to pay so much money for Tesla.com.
First, big companies feel they need to own the exact match of their company name in .com. There’s something “cheap” feeling about TeslaMotors.com for a company called Tesla. Shouldn’t Tesla, one of the world’s most admired and cutting-edge companies, own Tesla.com and not TeslaMotors.com?
Another issue is that many people probably typed in Tesla.com when they meant to go to the TeslaMotors.com website. Customers and suppliers probably sent emails to @tesla.com instead of @teslamotors.com, too. Fortunately for Tesla, the Tesla.com 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. Tesla.com can be used for every product and service the company may