$10,000 vs $10: How Zomato chose



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Choosing a domain name is a critical part of the branding process. Many startup founders have the mentality that their business has to be built on a .com domain name, and branding decisions can be contingent upon availability and price for the exact match .com domain name. Owning a .com domain name was arguably even more important to startup businesses ten years ago, although most businesses still seem to want (or need) the .com domain name.

Zomato is a company that was launched in 2008 that helps people find new restaurants and dining experiences. The company has a unique brand name, but it almost chose a different name (Forkwise) because of the cost of the exact match domain name, Zomato.com. The startup’s naming decision making process was detailed in an Entrepreneur article I read this morning.

The article is well worth a read beyond the domain name aspect, but here is an excerpt from the article discussing the domain name decision the company made shortly after it received funding:

Personally, I couldn’t see why one would choose the staid Forkwise over the livelier Zomato- but Goyal has a sheepish smile as he explains the economics of the situation then, which was just after their seed round. “Zomato.com, the domain name was $10,000. And Forkwise.com was $10… So, I mean, that was a big deal for uslike, how do we spend $10,000 out of the million dollars that we just raised!” As a result, Goyal and his team were leaning toward choosing Forkwise- but that’s when Raghuvanshi intervened and made his voice heard. “He was quite pissed at us for dropping Zomato.com, which is such a cool domain name, and wanting to buy Forkwise.com,” Goyal remembers. “He actually offered to buy it for us personally! And then, I was like, if you have that much confidence on this to buy it personally, we will buy it ourselves, so, don’t worry about it. And that’s how we bought Zomato.com.”



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