Colombia, the new Eldorado for startups

Do you know why Colombia have become the « New Eldorado » for many recognized startups in recent years ?

Columbia is not associate to the « New Eldorado » for its natural resources but for its domain name “.co” created by Juan Diego Calle in 2009.The success story of this business is based on a good marketing strategy. Indeed, compared to others domain name such as .jobs or .travel, Calle carefully selected its target: “.COmmunity of entrepreneurs and innovators”. The company website exposes its renowned clients from Twitter to Google to prosperous agencies and mobile applications. During his interviews, the manager explained how he managed to collect this client list, he simply offered his domain name exclusively to companies in the technology sector. By preparing a list of future clients all more innovative than the others, Juan achieves his goal to build a strong business. In 2013, the growth was phenomenal, and the number of web addresses amounted to 1.2 million.

The use of an aggressive marketing particularly to the target market which are entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses adding with the implementation of two billboards in Times Square and Union Square in 2012 allowed to increase rapidly the company’s notoriety.

Moreover, the timing was a key of success of the company. Indeed, Calle saw that .com, the most successful domain name was a limited resource. In 2006, one of his friends informed him about the possible liberalization of the name domain of Columbia. 2 years later, Calle created a company named .CO Internet S.A.S and convinced the Columbian government to operate the ccTLD. In February 2010, the .co ccTLD launched and is marketed by the company as the “new, flexible, global and safe extension for internet users worldwide”. The CEO’s expertise in domain names, and the low price of the domain name allows to become the main player in this market and bit the previous group leader Verisign who owns the domain name “.com”.

Nowadays, the domain industry is still dominated by few key players such as Verisign and .Co Internet SAS. Administrator of the .CO did a phenomenal job in marketing the extension. It is now the official guidebook for launching any TLD (top level domain).

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