A domain sprinkled with romance, dual personalities, and opportunity

Kassey Lee looks at the story behind this startup.

In 2014, Lin Zhao was too busy as a food industry expert for social events unless they were match-making arrangements. One day, he went for a blind date to meet the much younger Xin Peng, a branding professional. Unknown to him, the arrangement was only an excuse for Peng to seek business advice, not romance.

Peng wanted to open a new style of teahouse chain across China where young consumers can enjoy tea paired with soft-euro bread. Zhao was happy to help but under one condition – “Be my girlfriend!” Within three months, they got married and opened their first store named 奈雪 (Nai Xue). Subsequently, their phenomenal success led to listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange on June 30 this year.

奈雪 exhibits two personalities. When pronounced in Chinese, the name becomes Nai Xue (located at www.NaiXue.com). When pronounced in Japanese, the name becomes Nayuki (located at Na-yuki.com). (In China, Japanese names are used to imply quality and craftmanship.)

Unfortunately, the startup does not own NaiXue.cn. It does own but does not use Na-yuki.cn. Nayuki.cn seems to be owned by someone else.

Wayback Machine records suggest that the startup registered Na-yuki.com for about $10 in 2019. It needs to upgrade to the brand-matching Nayuki .com, which currently does not resolve and may be available for acquisition. Whoever owns Nayuki.com may realize now that its value has greatly increased.

Here are some takeaways for domain investors:

  • .com is king, but .cn is optional for Chinese companies, as seen in the domain strategy of this startup.
  • Your domains may end up in the most unlikely place, such as the Japanese domain Nayuki.com going to China. Therefore, make sure your domains are listed with a marketplace that has global retail outlets.
  • Many founders still don’t understand the basic principle of brand-matching when acquiring a domain, so there are still many opportunities to sell your domains as upgrades.

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