Financial services companies, especially new ones, need to convey trust. One way to show that they’re serious is to own a great domain.
Embed, a financial services infrastructure provider, secured Embed.com before coming out of stealth mode. Recurring revenue service Pipe and finance automation platform Ramp secured their exact-match .coms within a year of launching.
A billionaire’s latest finance startup has also followed this playbook.
William Hockey, an entrepreneur with a net worth of $1.4 billion, co-founded payments company Plaid in 2013 to provide companies with the tools needed to develop a digitally-enabled financial system.
Plaid, which upgraded from Plaid.io to Plaid.com soon after launching, has raised $734.5 million in funding, including a $425 million Series D round from 2021 that valued the company at $13.4 billion.
Hockey quit the company in 2019 and stayed out of the limelight until the public launch of his new company, Column, this month.
Behind the scenes, though, Column has been extremely busy. Founded by Hockey and his wife, Column describes itself as “the first and only nationally chartered bank built from the ground up for developers.” The creation of the Column brand has been entirely self-funded, with its billionaire co-founders publicly shunning outside investment.
Financial products can now be developed using Column infrastructure, which offers a full-service fintech solution that eliminates the need for complicated connections between fintechs, vendors, and banks.
This is thanks to Column’s dual role as both a platform provider and a nationally chartered bank. Hockey acquired Northern California National Bank in 2021 for $50 million, giving Column the ability to fulfill this dual role.
From a domain perspective, Column launched using the exact-match Column.com. It’s a domain that was previously owned by DigiMedia, a company that holds a portfolio of names such as Bed.com, Inn.com, and Dark.com. Digimedia rarely sells domains, but they usually trade for sizable sums when it does.
Column.com changed ownership in January 2021, with the domain transferring to a privacy-protected Amazon account, where it has stayed ever since.
For Column, it’s a savvy move. As a brand, it gives the right impression from day one. From a development perspective, the Column.com domain is deeply entrenched in the Column platform’s code. Securing Column.com before launching eliminates the company’s need to disrupt development in the future.
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