It appears that this company had a lease for ribbon.com that it let lapse.
I typically focus on domain name upgrades and the power that premium domain names can bring to a brand. Here, though, is a company that has moved away from its premium domain name during a rebrand.
In June 2021, I wrote about Ribbon, an online platform for live and recorded fitness and wellbeing classes that integrates with popular video conferencing services such as Zoom. The company, founded in 2020, capitalized on the COVID-19 pandemic’s global lockdown measures that forced all fitness classes online.
Ribbon raised $1.2 million in seed funding in 2020, and by June 2021, it had secured the Ribbon.com domain name, upgrading from RibbonExperiences.com. At the time, Ribbon.com was registered to a privacy-protected Uniregistry account, moving away from owner Next Navigation Ltd.
Now, a visit to Ribbon.com no longer brings you a page packed with information about an online platform. Instead, the domain forwards to a Next Navigation Ltd. landing page offering Ribbon.com for lease for a five-figure monthly fee.
The movement of the domain, returning to its previous owner, suggests that Ribbon secured a lease deal for Ribbon.com but that deal was canceled, resulting in Ribbon.com’s ownership reverting back to Next Navigation Ltd., an Australian company that owns a portfolio of premium one-word .com domains such as Shelf.com, Shadow.com, and Capricorn.com.
Meanwhile, Ribbon has completely rebranded, leaving Ribbon behind in favor of Momence, operating on Momence.com, a domain it acquired in the 4th quarter of 2021, according to Whois history.
The rebrand happened in December 2021, with the company announcing the switch in a newsletter. According to Momence, the brand name is an amalgamation of “moment” and “experience.” The newsletter also says that the Momence brand name will help the team “stay focused on building products that help you turn moments into unforgettable experiences.”
Premium .com domain names can be transformational assets for a business, but they are also expensive. While lease-to-own deals can relieve the pressures of funding a domain purchase upfront, it does result in regular payments that can run into five-figures per month for the best domains.
For a young company with minimal funding, acquiring a premium domain on a payment plan can be a risk. It’s often a risk worth taking. In Momence’s case, it’s possible that the company chose to focus on its product development, cutting expenses such as its Ribbon.com payment plan. A request for information was sent to Momence but wasn’t responded to.