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MarkMonitor Client Acquires S.CO

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It looks like the S.CO domain name changed hands at the end of last week or over the weekend. According to Whois records at DomainTools, S.CO is now registered to DNStination Inc., the proxy provider for MarkMonitor, a brand protection and domain registration company. As of right now, S.CO resolves to a generic GoDaddy landing page.

I believe S.CO was sold by GoDaddy / NameFind, although the purchase price for the domain name will not be revealed per GoDaddy’s policy. Earlier this year, Jamie Zoch reported that GoDaddy “acquired the premium domains held by the .co registry (likely ALL of the remaining ones they held)” via its NameFind business. There were quite a few single letter .CO domain names in that portfolio, including S.CO.

Back in 2012, S.CO had been used by Startup America, an organization that was co-founded by America Online founder Steve Case. At the time, it was announced that the organization would rebrand its url from StartupAmericaPartnership.org to the shorter S.CO domain name. It looks like the organization reverted back to StartupAmericaPartnership.org, although I am not sure when that happened. My guess is that the organization didn’t acquire the domain name from the .CO Registry.

According to NameBio, there have been

Google Announces Dandelion, Which Uses Dandelion.CO

Google’s parent company Alphabet runs a division called X. For X, the “mission is to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that we hope could someday make the world a radically better place.”  In an announcement made on its X.company blog, the launch of Dandelion was announced. According to the blog post, “Dandelion will offer geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the northeastern United States.”

From a domain name perspective, the announcement is interesting. Dandelion is using the Dandelion.CO domain name instead of a .com domain name. Dandelion.com is registered to someone in New York City, and it is unrelated to X’s Dandelion.

NameBio shows that Dandelion.CO last sold in 2013

Heritage Auctions Brokering “Major .CO Portfolio”

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HA.com LogoAron Meystedt, Director of the Domain Names and IP category at Heritage Auctions, emailed me about a portfolio of domain names his company is brokering on behalf of an undisclosed client. The portfolio is made up of approximately 750 one word and short .CO domain names.

Here’s what Aron said about this portfolio:

One of our clients is selling the best .co portfolio on the market. There are approximately 750 names, and a majority of them are ultra-short and one word names perfect for branding – and could easily be sold one at a time.

Some of the domain names in the portfolio that Aron highlighted and that I saw include the following one word .CO domain names:

Kernel, With $100MM in Funding, is Using a .CO Domain

The other day I read some tech industry headlines about Kernel, “a human intelligence (HI) company developing the world’s first neuroprosthesis to mimic, repair and improve cognition.” According to TechCrunch, the founder of Kernel is going to be investing $100 million into this startup. Interestingly, as highlighted by Doron Vermaat on Twitter yesterday, the company is using the Kernel.CO domain name for its website:

A  Whois search shows that Kernel.CO was created

I Don’t Get .Web Domain Names

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Earlier this morning, Andrew Allemann broke the news that the auction for the .Web new gTLD extension “has concluded with a $135 million price.” I really don’t understand why .Web is so appealing that an entity reportedly paid 9 figures for the rights to operate the extension.

In my opinion, Internet-related terms such as “web” and “world wide web” are less widely used today than years ago. Web seems almost passé , in my opinion, although the longer term “website” is still used by pretty much everyone.

I did a Google Trends search of “web,” and the results seem to corroborate my opinion on this. Aside from a slight increase in the last couple of years, there has been a significant downward slope for “web,” as you can see from this screenshot I took:

.CO Hits 2 Million Registrations

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Because .CO keeps its registration numbers private, I haven’t been able to keep track of how many .CO domain names are currently registered. I just learned that there are now over 2 million registered .CO domain names.

According to a press release I received from Neustar, the company that operates the .CO domain registry, “.CO has surpassed 2 million total domain names under management.” Interestingly, the growth rate for new registrations grew from 10 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2015. I would imagine quite a bit of this strong growth is due to investment from Chinese domain name buyers. I don’t know if there is an easy way to track how much of an impact the Chinese market has had on registration numbers though.

In addition to the Chinese registration component, .CO has been very well accepted in the startup space. My perspective is that there is still a “coolness” factor associated with .CO domain names. For instance, Taco Bell recently announced a TA.CO website launch and social marketing campaign. Other major Internet companies like Twitter and Google also prominently use .CO domain names.

Congratulations to Neustar and the .CO management team on this achievement.

Here is the press release I received:

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