Domain Industry News

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

.NYC Running “Best of Boroughs” Contest with $25k in Prizes

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Neustar, the company that operates the .NYC registry, is running a contest to help promote its .NYC extension locally. The contest is dubbed the “Best of Boroughs,” and it will award five prizes in the amount of $5,000 each. There will be one winner chosen from each of New York City’s five boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island).

The contest is for people and organizations who use a .NYC domain name for their website. Here’s how the contest is described:

Best of the Boroughs in a citywide contest that celebrates the local businesses, organizations and community individuals that make our city, and each borough, a unique place to live. These individuals love the City so much it’s in their web address.

Entrants across NYC will submit applications on what makes their .nyc business, website, store, organization or idea the best of their borough. There will be one winner chosen from each of the five boroughs and named the Best of Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, depending on the borough in which they reside.

The contest is open to “any business or entity with a working .nyc website in use prior to 9/4/2018.” I am sure there are

Whoisology Acquired by WhoisXML API

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I noticed that the Whoisology.com domain name changed registrants to the Escrow.com escrow account. I reached out to Whoisology co-founder Ryan McKegney, and he confirmed that his company sold the Whoisology business to WhoisXML API earlier this year. “We were looking to focus on DomainAgents and since WhoisXML was already a Whoisology partner with deep expertise in the whois data and internet security field, we felt they were a very natural fit who could do interesting things with the site,” he told me.

The transaction price was not disclosed to me by either party, but the entire Whoisology business was sold.

Whoisology is a business that provides a number of services related to domain name Whois records. Users can perform reverse Whois searches via Whoisology to link various domain names to a particular registrant. The business also has archived historical Whois records as well. Whoisology can be helpful to

CentralNic to Acquire KeyDrive

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In a press release sent out this morning, CentralNic announced that it will acquire KeyDrive, the company that operates the Key Systems group and Moniker. The acquisition price is reported as “an initial consideration of $35.8m,” so I am not sure if that means additional consideration will be paid at a later date or if that is the total amount.

Of particular interest to US-based domain investors is the Moniker acquisition. Moniker, which was founded by Monte Cahn, was once one of the most popular domain registrars amongst domain investors. The company also ran successful domain auctions, particularly those held during the TRAFFIC conference. Moniker has had a difficult go of things over the last 5+ years or so, which has been chronicled by Andrew Allemann over the years.. It will be worth watching to see what CentralNic does with this once popular domain registrar brand.

The press release with full details is below (you will note that the press release refers to a merger but the email subject says it is an acquisition):

Payoneer Exiting Domain Escrow Business

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Payoneer Escrow sent out an email to some of its partners today to inform them that the company is exiting the domain escrow business, and I was forwarded the email. Payoneer Head of Strategy and Business Development Matt Watts sent an email stating, “it’s with sincere apologies that I’m sharing news that Payoneer is discontinuing our escrow business.” The email continued, “While we have been excited and honored to service customers and partners like yourself, after careful review of our product portfolio have decided to commit our focus to other areas of the Payoneer business.

In 2016, Payoneer acquired a California-licensed Internet escrow agent doing business as Armor Payments, and the company began offering domain name escrow services. Brandon Abbey, formerly of Escrow.com, was hired by the company to help get its start in the domain escrow business. The global payments company has been offering domain name escrow services for approximately two years.

I believe the company will

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