Early last week (about September 9, 2015) I started noticing “Gusto” domain names on the move from MarkMonitor to GoDaddy under whois privacy but I was holding off announcing anything because I simply wasn’t sure the reason behind the movements. I felt they likely changed ownership but didn’t have any confirmation or who the potential buyers were.
Why the name Gusto? In the ZenPayroll.com announcement, it was stated:
Our new name Gusto was inspired by our customers and their teams who show courage and passion in the work they do every day. When you work on something you care about, with people you enjoy spending time with, it’s an amazing feeling. That energy. That oomph. That’s Gusto. We believe everyone has the potential to feel this way at work.
IMO, they also changed away from a restrictive brand name, since it contained the word “payroll” in it! Since the company offers more than “payroll”, the new name is less restrictive to what they offer services for.
So how did ZenPayroll buy the domain name Gusto.com was a question I had and was interested in as it does not appear they owned it prior to September 9, 2015… some 8 days prior to rebrand launch!
The following are some of my “notes” during my research when I was seeing the Gusto domain name movements:
Gusto.com and several relating “Gusto” domain names like MyGusto.com have transferred from domain registrar MarkMonitor to GoDaddy.com under privacy protection. It is not clear who owned the domain names at MarkMonitor as the domain names were using generic whois data to Gusto.com LLC, a company that appears to no longer exist and was merged (not sure with who). Bloomberg.com states that Gusto.com LLC operates a community for travelers and was founded in 2006.
Jeff Wasson was the CEO and Founder of the company but according to his Linkedin page, states he was no longer with Gusto at the end of December 2008. Jeff is now a partner at Boost VC.
I wasn’t able to find much info on Gusto.com LLC after 2008 time frame but Jeff stated about Gusto.com on his LinkedIn page as: “Venture funded start-up company in the online travel and social networking business. With offices in Missouri and San Francisco, Gusto was among the first social networking sites. A pioneering company in its space, Gusto developed travel solutions using Ruby on Rails for individual travelers and various hospitality business across the world. Gusto was a 2006 US News and World Report’s 100 best web site.”
Maybe the company (Gusto.com LLC) was acquired by a current MarkMonitor client and now sold the domain? Who the sellers of Gusto.com were remain unclear to me still.
We do know who owns Gusto.com now and it’s the former ZenPayroll.com!