Iguaz.io recently raised $15M in a Series A round, Tuition.io and Test.io each raised $5M a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft bought the domain doc.io for $24,600. Google owns coupons.io, Yahoo owns player.io, and Disney owns go.io - even two US presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Mark Rubio, use .io domains with hrc.io and rub.io.
It’s obvious there is a huge amount of momentum behind the TLD, and this has affected the price of .io domains, but it is hard to put a number on the increase in value over the last few years. But I recently noticed there is a specific example of one .io domain that has sold three separate times on the same marketplace within the last two years.
bid.io sold three times in auction on Flippa. It sold on March 7 2014 for $540, and then again on October 29 2014 for $1,250, and then just a few days ago for $7,000, for a total return of +1196.3% in 650 days.
Of course this is just one example, but it is the same domain on the same public marketplace, and it appears to be representative of the general increase in value of .io domains.
An evolution of domain names
The growth of .io domains is interesting because it demonstrates an evolution of domains on the internet. Why would .io domains have such growth? .io is the country code top-level domain assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory (population: 3k), but hackers have adopted it as their own (as “input/output”) - partially because there are not many available .com domains, and partially as what I think of as a hacker rebellious disdain towards the mainstream TLDs. From this has grown a culture and identity around .io domains. And because of this, .io domains are increasing in demand and in value.