Domain Industry News

Web.com is Now Sole Owner of NameJet

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According to a press release that just hit the wires, Web.com acquired Tucows’ ownership stake in NameJet. With this acquisition, I believe that the auction platform is now solely owned by Web.com.

As you may recall, NameJet was initially a partnership between eNom and Network Solutions. The platform was owned by Demand Media, which owned eNom, and Web.com, which owned Network Solutions. Tucows acquired eNom in early 2017, and with its acquisition of the registrar, it also acquired a stake in NameJet.

My quick thought is that this will be good news for NameJet and its users. I presume that having two different publicly traded companies own NameJet could have been difficult to get things done. This should help streamline things for NameJet leadership, and hopefully it means Web.com will continue to invest in the platform. I am sure there are plenty of improvements that could be made, and having one owner should help in that regard.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the eNom expiry stream now that Tucows doesn’t have an ownership stake in the NameJet auction business. I believe Tucows has been sending its expired domain names to auction at GoDaddy Auctions. I think the majority of domain names I win on NameJet are registered at eNom, so that will be something to watch.

I am sure there is more to come….

The press release is below:

Evergreen Introduces “The One” Domain Newsletter

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Evergreen.com, the domain name consultancy and brokerage founded by Jen Sale and Adam Strong, introduced a new domain name newsletter today. Dubbed, The One, this domain name-focused newsletter will be solely devoted to one word .com domain names.

From the newsletter I received today:

We are happy to announce the launch of our newsletter – The One. As the name suggests, we will be focusing on ‘one’ word domain names, including new listings, sales, analytics, case studies, news and much more.

Our goal is to share something different, interesting and beneficial to our readers. We have chosen a monthly schedule to deliver content that is relevant and won’t contribute to the noise. We welcome any feedback and will continually aim to improve each issue.

We hope The One. will be a welcome addition to your inbox.

The newsletter combines one word .com domain name listings with news about one word .com domain names. There is also some intel about one word .com domain name sales that

Epik Offering “Forever Registrations”

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I received a note from Epik CEO Rob Monster, who announced that Epik is now allowing its customers to effectively register some of their domain names at Epik forever. Rob’s email included a link to a press release published by Epik during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona. According to the press release, “Epik is the first ICANN-accredited registrar to offer the perpetual registration.”

Here’s a short excerpt from the press release:

“Forever domain registrations provide individuals and businesses with peace of mind. Once a Forever registration is secured, the future risk of domain loss due to administrative oversight or lack of funds is eliminated. While domain owners are still subject to legal use, domains can now become an enduring part of a will or estate, with continued managed registration compliance, even after the death of the original registrant. A Forever domain registration, which can be optionally combined with a Forever hosting plan, offers not only peace of mind, but also allows registrants to preserve their digital legacy, and on their terms.”

The cost of a .com “forever registration” at Epik runs $420. If a person were paying $10/year all-in to renew their .com domain name, that upfront cost would be 42 years worth of renewals (assuming the price stays the same over that time period).

The concept is certainly interesting. It would effectively reduce the concerns a domain owner may have over what happens to their domain names if they die. In theory,

ICA Seeking Nominations for 2019 Lonnie Borck Memorial Award

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Shortly after the unexpected passing of Lonnie Borck, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) created a domain industry award in his memory. The inaugural award was presented to David Weslow ofWiley Rein, and this year’s award was given to Kathy Kleiman.

The ICA is currently seeking nominations for the 2019 Lonnie Borck Memorial Award. Here’s a description of the Award:

“The Lonnie Borck Memorial Award is granted to an individual for indelible contribution to domain investor rights, and we invite you all to take part in the process and submit your suggestions for the nominees. The nomination process is open to the entire domain name community.”

Nominations will be accepted until November 1st. The ICA Board of Directors will review the nominations and vote on the winner. The Award will be presented during the NamesCon conference in January.

If you know of someone who has made a lasting contribution to protecting and enabling the rights of domain name investors, you should think about submitting a nomination. There are quite a few people that go above and beyond to help protect the rights of domain investors, and it is nice that we can honor them. I already know who I am going to nominate.

Not a week goes by that I don’t think about Lonnie. It’s nice to see this Award being given to someone deserving.

Namecheap Celebrating 18 Years With Special Offers

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Namecheap is celebrating its 18th birthday this year, and the company has some special offers for customers to mark the occasion:

It looks like Namecheap is offering an 18% discount off a variety of products and services, including domain name renewals. The company is also offering a discount on .com domain name registrations:

“At Namecheap we’re big on birthday celebrations, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with you, our customers. This year, to mark our Big 18 and having 10 million domains under management, we are giving a big 18% off your domain, Private Email, and SSL renewals! We’re also offering an extra birthday treat – .com registrations at an incredible $8.88!”

The sale ends at the end of the day on October 17th (tomorrow). See the event landing page for full details about the discounts as well as any terms and conditions.

PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Donuts

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Donuts shared some major news this morning, announcing that Abry Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company. Abry is a private equity firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The terms of the deal were not made public, and because Donuts is a privately owned business, I do not anticipate that the terms will become public in the future.

I briefly looked at the Abry website, and it looks like this is the PE firm’s first investment in a domain industry company. Perhaps notably, one of the partners at Abry (since 2016) is Fadi Chehadé, the former CEO of ICANN. The press release did not mention if Mr. Chehadé will be playing a role at Donuts. I would anticipate that his high level domain industry experience and connections will be helpful.

Earlier this morning, I exchanged emails with Judith McGarry, VP Marketing & Communications at Donuts, and she let me know that

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