One of the concerns I have heard people mention regarding Uniregistry is that the company could keep expiring domain names dropped by its customers. There are domain name registrars that either keep the higher value drops or did this in the past, and I have heard people express their concerns that it could happen at Uniregistry since the company is owned by one of the most successful domain investors, Frank Schilling.
Turns out, this does not appear to be the case (at least right now).
This morning while going through a list of pending delete domain names that are coming up for auction, I saw that TrafficAccident.com and TrafficAccidents.com were listed as pending delete. Estibot values these domain names at $15,000 and $13,000 respectively, and I think most people would agree these two domain names have value, especially to a law firm or auto body shop. When I looked at the Whois registration details to see
Earlier this morning, Uniregistry published a press release (published below) with its aftermarket domain name sales report from Uniregistry Market for the first 8 months of 2017. While the report doesn’t offer specific details about domain name sales, it offers a general overview of sales on its platform year to date. From what I understand, this aggregated sales data includes domain name sales from Frank Schilling’s Name Administration company as well as the third party sales of Uniregistry Market clients.
You should read the entire press release for more color commentary, but here are the most interesting data points the company shared:
“it has sold 3617 domains totaling more than 29,000,000 USD in the first 8 months of 2017.”
“The number of transactions increased by more than 24% over the same time period in 2016”
“total sales have increased by 13.85% from the 25,000,000 USD sold in the same period prior.”
“Average sale prices since 2011 have seen steady gains year over year, with 2017 showing some signs of moderation as the average prices dropped marginally for the first time ever to $8,017 USD per domain down from $9,110 USD.”
It was a bit surprising to see that the average sale price on sold domain names declined for the first time since 2011. The average sale price seems to have dropped from $9,110 to $8,017. Despite this 12% shrinkage, I think the average sale price of $8,017 is still higher at Uniregistry Market than on other domain name sale platforms. This is likely attributed to the high quality of domain names listed for sale on Uniregistry Market. That said, there was still a drop in the average sale price, and here’s how the company explained that:
“Dollar volumes moderated during this period, due to continued expansion into exploratory, nontraditional markets such as Generic Top Level Domains (GTLDs) and Country Code Top Level Domain (CCTLD) sales.”
My interpretation of this is that the company sold more ccTLD and new gTLD domain names this year, and those domain names have lower sale prices. As a result, the higher volume of lower sale prices caused the average sale price to drop. In explaining this, it would have been helpful if Uniregistry shared the increased volume of ccTLD and new gTLD sales. For instance, if the volume of these sales increased by 50% over last year, the lower sale price would have been more obvious. If the sales volume increased marginally, the lower average sale price would be more concerning to me.
I am hopeful that the company will release additional data. I believe Uniregistry Market released more sales data to DNJournal last year, and I hope the company does the same thing this year.
Here’s the company’s press release, which offers more insight about its sales and gives a glimpse of its expectations for the future:
CrunchBase reported that an insurance startup called Coya received $10 million in seed funding at the end of August. A quick check showed that the company is operating its business on the Coya.com domain name, which had previously been owned by Frank Schilling’s Name Administration. Jamie Zoch reported the sale of Coya.com at the end of July, although the price was not published.
I reached out to one of the founders of Coya via email to ask what the company paid to buy the domain name and what url the company was using prior to the acquisition. Unfortunately, I did not hear back from him.
I also reached out to Jeff Gabriel, Vice President of Sales at Uniregistry. Jeff let me know that the domain name was brokered by Ryan May of Uniregistry, and the sale price for the Coya.com domain name was a very reasonable
Uniregistry has a fun “Easter Egg” game on its 404 error page. Visit any non-existent page on Uniregistry.com (say Uniregistry.com/Elliot for example), and you will see a 404 error page with a prompt to play a game.
To start playing the game, just hit the spacebar. The chicken in the desert appears to be running as it moves towards objects. Use the spacebar to jump over the objects. The longer the chicken continues running without hitting or landing on one of the objects, the more points are accumulated. I played for a few minutes last night, and my high score after a couple of tries was 1389. I am sure there are much higher scores achieved by people with more patience than I have!
Frank Schilling authored an article in Entrepreneur about mergers and acquisitions. Frank shared his thoughts on the considerations a business owner must make before deciding on a M&A opportunity. Interestingly, Frank shared the following about M&A experience with his own business:
“Potential buyers approached me five times in four years in pursuit of my business, Uniregistry, as I told DN Journal in 2007. Several offered nine-figure deals, and they were willing to go higher at each point in our negotiations. I met with each one and seriously considered their propositions. In the end, selling didn’t feel right. I may sell eventually, but not until I find a situation that suits my goals and represents what I believe is best for the company.”
The article was timely, as it seems there is some M&A discussion in the domain name business, according to two reports published yesterday.
Yun Ye is probably the most mysterious person who has ever been involved in the domain name business. In fact, most people have never met Yun Ye and have only heard about him and his massive $164 million domain name portfolio sale to Marchex.
Yesterday evening on Twitter, noted domain attorney John Berryhill, who represented Yun Ye’s company (and still represents Frank’s Name Administration company), published this tweet with a photo of Yun Ye that was taken in 2005: