Browsing through Crunchbase can have some unexpected results. While doing some research for another article, I was looking through a list of recently funded companies when I saw “Aesthetic (formerly Plato Design). What stood out to me was the fact that the company had managed to secure the use of the premium Aesthetic.com domain name.
Founded in 2018, Aesthetic started life as Plato Design a name that, according to the company, was expected to be temporary. The name Plato came, as you might expect, from the Greek philosopher and his theory of forms, which inspired Plato Design’s founders.
Why was the name Plato meant to be temporary? According to a post from Aesthetic, the name Plato had a long history within the tech industry. This is certainly true I can count fourteen companies using the “Plato” name on Crunchbase.
With at least fourteen other companies also using the name “Plato”, and the exact match Plato.com owned by an education company, it would have been extremely difficult for Plato Design to stand out.
CEO John Milinovich and his co-founders set about finding a new name that linked to design and technology, which ultimately lead to a list of seventy names. They finally landed on Aesthetic.
Fortunately, they were also able to upgrade from the so-so UsePlato.com to the premium Aesthetic.com. According to Archive.org, Aesthetic.com previously hosted a very 90’s landing page for a company called Aesthetic Solutions Inc. Quite a contrast to Aesthetic’s new site on the domain.
Based on data from DomainIQ, Aesthetic.com is currently in an Escrow.com holding account, signifying that the domain is being paid for in installments. The price of the Aesthetic.com acquisition hasn’t been revealed, but one-word .COM domains routinely sell in the five- and six-figure range. With Aesthetic announcing a $3.1 million seed funding round, it was the perfect opportunity to use a small percentage of this round to invest in their ultimate .COM domain, to essentially own the “Aesthetic” brand name on the web.
Why did John Milinovich opt to acquire Aesthetic.com? According to a brief email from him, he was inspired by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham’s advice. Incidentally, Paul Graham has personally invested in Aesthetic. Paul’s advice states:
If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have x.com, you should probably change your name.
This advice is the same reason that John previously acquired URX.com for his former company URX, a mobile advertising startup that sold to Pinterest in 2016.
What do you think of Aesthetic’s switch from Plato Design to Aesthetic.com?