The big domain name industry news this morning is that Donuts is acquiring Rightside. According to StreetInsider.com, the deal is for $10.60 per share of NAME stock, which is approximately $213 million. This is an all-cash deal.
Shared values, shared vision, shared history. So fantastic when two longtime good-friends get married https://t.co/lUSgMYKu9X
A press release with information about the deal can be found on Yahoo Finance.
I am sure there will be quite a bit of analysis from domain industry sources as well as stock/finance sources, but one of the more intriguing things is that Donuts will own Name.com once the deal closes. Since the company was founded,
This afternoon, I had a conversation with Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu. We chatted about the industry news of the day, and he shared some perspective with me that I can share with readers:
“The business decisions of any one registry aren’t representative of the new TLD program.
At Rightside, we believe in our TLDs and the program as a whole. To drive our business forward, we are focused on building relationships with our customers and channel partners alike and believe that transparency and trust are critical factors in doing so. I want to reassure our valued customers who have invested in our TLDs that we will not be following suit.
We continue to see our registry business grow, with healthy average sale prices in the $20 range and over $7M worth of premium sales across our TLDs. Coupled with year 2 renewal rates closing in on 80%, we feel good about what we are building here.”
There are quite a few different business models amongst the companies that operate the new domain name extensions. My guess is that Uniregistry’s price strategy will not likely be adopted widely. Time will tell, but it is good to see Rightside letting its customers and the industry know that they will not be following suit.
Rightside made a very generous contribution to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a part of my 2016 Pan-Mass Challenge fundraising campaign in exchange for the publication of this article.
On February 14th, Etsy announced the launch of Etsy Studio in a social post. While Etsy.studio certainly would be a great, memorable domain for their project’s primary website, as Elliot previously suggested, Etsy has at least made an excellent decision to start using the domain on social media. In fact, Etsy is just one of many brands and individuals utilizing a new wave of Branded Short Links.
A Branded Short Link is a URL that is, as the name suggests, both
Ganjapreneur, a website targeting professionals in the cannabis and marijuana trade, announced a new domain name sales marketplace. As you would expect, the focus is on domain names related to the business of cannabis and marijuana. With the legal status of marijuana and cannabis usage changing in many states over the last few years, this industry is growing considerably.
The company announced the launch of the marketplace in a blog post yesterday, and Andrew Rosener, CEO of Ganjapreneur, shared some additional information about the domain name sales marketplace:
“I’m really excited to announce a new marketplace for cannabis domain names and any domain name that may be a good brand fit for an upcoming cannabis startup or product. After all, many of the best brands don’t inherently imply cannabis at all. The marketplace is highly curated (pun intended) and our objective is to eliminate all the noise (filter out low quality domains). To do so, we charge $99 per domain listing and manually review each and every domain submitted. We also offer a substantial discount for listings of 10 domains or more. This ensures that sellers have some skin in the game and are serious about selling their domains. In return we will bring the best buyers available to your listings. We are also price / value checking every domain. We will not allow names which we don’t think are priced accurately or within reason. To be sure, our target market is end users: cannabis processors, growers, dispensary owners, manufacturers, real estate operators, investors & dreamers. Although, there certainly are great value opportunities as well for savvy domain investors in the know.
We feel strongly that the “pay to play” model of marketplace is justified and appropriate in this case. Between our organic web traffic, podcast, newsletter, video content and our Social Media presence, Ganjapreneur.com and our other media channels reach nearly 5 million people monthly! According to a recent survey we conducted, our subscriber base is 70% cannabis business owners or people who are planning to launch a cannabis business. What that means is, even if we can’t guarantee that your domain name will sell, we can guarantee that it will be seen by the most relevant audience of potential buyers in the World!”
In a tweet this afternoon arts and crafts marketplace Etsy announced that it would be launching a new marketplace for craft supplies called Etsy Studio. Fast Company published an article about this new marketplace earlier today. The article offered a glimpse into the company’s plans for Etsy Studio, which is expected to open for business in April of this year.
When I saw the tweet about Etsy Studio, my first thought was about the Etsy.Studio domain name that was referenced. I then thought about whether or not the company is going to use that new gTLD domain name for its website. I visited Etsy.Studio and saw that Etsy.Studio forwards to EtsyStudio.com. Social media for this new marketplace (Pinterest) appears to confirm that the company intends to use EtsyStudio.com and not Etsy.Studio for its website. I would imagine they will continue using Etsy.Studio for social sharing though.
The .Studio domain name extension is operated by Rightside. As of today, there are over 21,000 registered .Studio domain names, according to nTLDStats.com.
I reached out to Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu to see if he had any comment about Bill and/or other changes at Rightside. Taryn let me know the company is restructuring in light of the sale of eNom to Tucows. Here’s what Taryn had to say via email: