Augmentation.com: We Intentionally Used a Bad Name Until a Good Domain Becomes Available – Domain Name Wire

The company started building its service on a “bad” domain until it could acquire a better one.

If you want someone to trust you with their financial details, you better rely on an ultra-premium domain name.

That’s the lesson I learned while writing about several fintech services for Domain Name Wire over the past year. Column.com, Embed.com, and Wealth.com are three examples of fintech startups that secured top-tier domain names before launching them to the public, smartly building their services on trustworthy and trusted .com domains.

Another company followed suit, Augmentation.

Augmentation is a startup formed by former Stripe, Robinhood, and Visa employees who want to create a new kind of banking system. In the same vein as Column, another banking startup from billionaire entrepreneurs William and Annie Hockey, Augmentation offers a powerful banking infrastructure that other fintechs can rely on to deliver payroll services, business payments or even an investment platform.

The company, busy building its system behind the scenes, got a one-word .com domain early on; Increase.com. According to Whois, Augmentation acquired Augmentation.com in early 2021, a move that Elliot Silver of DomainInvesting.com spotted. Silver also pointed out that the domain held an asking price of $150,000 on the Sedo marketplace, but details of the domain’s sale were not disclosed.

The founding team of Augmenter was looking for a good domain name while initiating the development of its platform.

Hacker News, a social news site run by Y Combinator, Featured Increase on its homepage recently, garnering hundreds of comments from readers eager to learn more about the service. Naturally, the company’s choice of domain name was noted by one commenter, who said, “Did you acquire the domain, or did the founders always have it?”

Jack Flintermann, software engineer at Augmentation, responded:

We took the approach of starting with an intentionally bad name (in our case, bnk.dev) and working with it until a good domain became available for purchase at a reasonable price.

Flintermann also referenced Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham’s article titled “Change your name”, which advocates securing a company’s exact match .com domain.

Starting with an intentionally bad name, bnk.dev, allowed the founders to start developing their business and product while maintaining ambitions for a better name and domain.

Moving from bnk.dev to Increase.com while expanding the company’s product offering meant that the Augmentation API and platform could be built around the Increase.com domain. Changing domain names later when the product is more established is possible, but would likely require more work from the development team.