Google Acquires G.CO to Launch Official Shortcut for Google Products and Services

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500 Startups to Rebrand Web Address from 500Startups.com to 500.CO

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.CO becoming the hot new 'geek' TLD of Silicon Valley - Dave McClure

Today .CO Internet S.A.S. announced that Google has acquired the domain name G.CO and will use the URL to more easily connect, communicate and engage with customers by launching an official shortcut for Google’s products and services. The Registry also announced that well-known Silicon Valley Seed Fund and Incubator, 500 Startups, will be rebranding its web address from 500Startups.com to 500.CO.

Just days ahead of the one year anniversary of the public launch of the .CO domain, on July 20th, 2011, momentum continues to be strong as world-leading companies and entrepreneurs increasingly embrace the .CO platform. Since it launched, the .CO domain has attracted more than one million registrations by individuals, organizations and businesses in more than 200 countries worldwide, including major brands like Twitter, Amazon and Overstock – and hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs around the globe.

In an announcement on the official Google Blog today (http://x.co/gcoshort), Gary Briggs, Google’s VP of Consumer Marketing, announced that G.CO would soon be the “official URL shortcut for Google websites.” Only Google will be able to create G.CO shortcuts, says Briggs; that means “you can visit a G.CO shortcut confident you will always end up at a page for a Google product or service.”

Increasingly considered to be a strategic digital asset by brands seeking to attract and engage consumers online, Briggs noted that “[i]n the world of URLs, bigger is not always better,” and that “the shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember.”

“We are thrilled to have Google join the select group of premium Internet brands that are using the .CO domain to innovate online,” said Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet SAS. “By featuring G.CO in its product and service marketing efforts worldwide, we are confident that Google will help to drive massive awareness and adoption of the .CO domain extension in the years ahead.”

On a related note, Silicon Valley seed fund and incubator, 500 Startups, also announced today that it will be rebranding its web address from 500Startups.com to 500.CO this Fall. Founded by Internet entrepreneur, Dave McClure, 500 Startups has become one of the most prolific forces in today’s startup ecosystem, currently operating over 150 companies spanning five continents.

“.CO is quickly becoming the hot new geek TLD in Silicon Valley,” said McClure, in a blog post today on the 500 Startups blog (http://x.co/500co). “At 500 Startups we focus on doing things faster, making cycle time shorter, and simplifying brand – we know no one will care about your product if it’s not fast, easy-to-use, and memorable. We want to OWN the brand 500, and 500.CO helps us get there.”

“From the very beginning, .CO was built by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs,” said Lori Anne Wardi, vice president of .CO Internet SAS. “By making 500.CO its online brand, 500 Startups will role model to entrepreneurs in every corner of the world that .CO is the premium domain of choice to build the next generation of great companies online.”

“With .CO, startups can launch businesses and brands on a short, cool, credible domain name -- without having to shell out a million bucks to do it,” says McClure. “That’s why we recommend .CO to companies in our portfolio, and why 500startups.com is moving to 500.CO.”

About .CO Internet S.A.S.    
.CO Internet S.A.S. is the Registry Operator for the .CO top-level domain. The .CO domain offers individuals, organizations and businesses a truly global, recognizable and credible web address for branding their online presence. Thanks to leading-edge technology, enhanced security and unprecedented rights protections, the .CO domain is poised to become the world’s next premier web address. For more information about the .CO Registry, please visit http://www.Opportunity.co -- or follow us on Twitter @dotCO.

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Lori Anne Wardi
.CO Internet S.A.S.
+1 917 838 6743
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Matthew Whalley
Edelman
+44 782 442 5729
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