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The Half Billion Domain Auction Business You Don’t Know About

Adam Yamada-Hanff shared a link with me to a My First Million podcast featuring someone who has been active in the business of domain names but I had never heard about him or his business before. I embedded the podcast at the bottom of this article.

Sheel Mohnot runs a company called Innovative Auctions, and according to his reporting on the podcast, the company sold more than half a billion dollars worth of Internet real estate. You may be scratching your head a bit, as did I, but the company was responsible for many of the auctions involving the new gTLD domain name extensions. Many of the new gTLD contention sets participated in the ascending clock second price auctions managed by Sheel’s company. According to the podcast, the top couple of auctions went for over $100 million, although the extensions and amounts were not shared.

Here’s a description of the podcast found at the Listen Notes website:

Startup Called Haus Operating on a .Haus


An article about a startup called Haus caught my attention this afternoon because of the domain name it chose for its website. Anna Escher wrote an article on TechCrunch this afternoon, reporting that Haus “secured $4.5 million in seed funding:”

Radix Premium Domains Revenue Hits $3m in 2019


Radix shared its Premium Domains sales report for the second half of 2019 along with full year totals. The company reports that it sold $3 million worth of its premium domain name inventory, which is the company’s best year to date. Radix reported $1.67 million in sales for the second half of 2019. This is an improvement over the $1.36 million in sales Radix reported for the first half of 2019.

Here are some of the call-outs that Radix highlighted from its bi-annual report:

.Rocks is Fine


I bought a 3 word .com domain name at NameJet in 2011 for around $500. The following year, a prospective buyer and I negotiated the sale of this domain name for $20,000. The buyer had explained that he had wanted the name for several years and was surprised the former owner sold it (it expired, but that’s not important). When it came time to pay, the prospect disappeared and despite several attempts to finalize the deal, it never went through.

DribbleUp Using New gTLDs in Marketing Campaign


I noticed a marketing campaign from a startup called DribbleUp that is utilizing new gTLD domain names in its various advertisements. Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed several different Facebook advertisements for the company’s DribbleUp product that are similar in nature to this one:

I Use DOFO to Follow .Brand Registrations


There are quite a few good resources available to track new gTLD domain name registrations. NameStat and nTLDStats are two websites that I find offer a good overview of the number of registrations, along with quite a bit of other data about new gTLD registrations. Both of these websites allow me to see registration trends, including actual numbers along with where domain names are being registered and how the domain names are being used.

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