The Venture Capital community has never been one to accept arbitrary limitations, but until very recently, VCs didn’t have a lot of options in tailoring their online brands. That is about to change, with the launch of a .CAPITAL Internet domain, targeted at least partly at the VC community.
After years in development and countless policy hurdles, the era of new Internet domains is finally upon us. The arrival of new web suffixes – officially known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs) – presents users with unprecedented choices for how they identify and brand themselves online. As luck would have it, one of the first steps in the giant expansion of the Internet’s global addressing system takes place in the venture capital field.
Beginning July 9, companies and individuals worldwide will be able to register Internet domains ending in .CAPITAL. Donuts Inc. – the world’s leading registry for new Internet domains – is rolling out the domain as part of its global effort to expand the functionality and choice of the global Domain Name System.
For VCs and others in the community this creates a unique opportunity to build new online identities and enhance existing ones. In the future, it will probably make more sense for, as an example, ACME Capital to register ACME.capital than ACMEventurecapital.com, or whatever variant they can find in existing domains.
For anyone who’s ever tried to search for a short, relevant .COM address, the appeal of highly targeted, industry- and sector-specific address extensions is as obvious as most new .COM names are long. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the Internet’s global addressing system, approves and oversees all Donuts domains which, from a user standpoint, function in precisely the same way that .COM or any other legacy domain does.
Indeed, the key functional difference between new domains and their legacy forbearers is that they contain significantly stronger contractual protections against fraud and misuse. ICANN has taken significant steps to ensure that domains like .CAPITAL don’t become targets for cybersquatting and other offenses, and Donuts has gone a step further still offering voluntary rights protection tools to brand owners that don’t want to see their marks registered in new domains.
Most of the world’s major registrars sell Donuts domains alongside the old standbys of .COM, .NET and .ORG, and many also provide access to key rights-protection options. Before July 9, VCs also have the opportunity to participate in the .CAPITAL “sunrise” process which allows users to pre-register their existing trademark names in .CAPITAL ahead of the general availability period. Contact your favorite registrar for more information and to prepare for a new Internet identity in .CAPITAL.