35 Layoffs at Rightside Following eNom Deal

Rightside GroupLate last week, I shared news of Tucows’ acquisition of eNom. This is big news for a number of reasons, especially because  Tucows will reportedly become the “second largest domain registrar in the world,” trailing GoDaddy.

One unfortunate side effect of this deal is layoffs. I ran into Bari Meyerson at NamesCon, and she shared the news that she was let go. I worked with Bari for a number of years at Moniker, and I continued to work with her when she went to work at eNom. On the infrequent occasions that  I had an account management issue at eNom, she would either help solve it or connect me with the person who could.

I reached out to Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu to ask about the layoffs, and he told me the company made  about 35 layoffs as a result of the deal. The company now has approximately 125 employees following  the conclusion of the deal. Taryn felt it was important to note to me that “the 35 layoffs were not a result of performance or ability, but the ugly side of deals of this nature.”

It is unfortunate that layoffs resulted, and I would imagine it can be attributed to some job redundancy at the two companies. The good thing, I would think, is that there are now some experience domain industry veterans who may be looking for work in the domain space. Hopefully they land on their feet soon.

Rightside Sells Enom to Tucows


EnomI just received some breaking news from Enom that I want to share with you. According to the email I received, Tucows has acquired Enom from Rightside. Both Tucows (TCX on NASDAQ) and Rightside (NAME on NASDAQ) are publicly traded companies. A press release published by Tucows  reports that “Tucows will pay $83.5 million and the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.” As noted in the press release, this deal will make the combined company the second largest domain registrar in the world behind GoDaddy.

I have not yet had time to think about the implications of this (or rationale for this deal). I am curious about why Rightside decided to sell Enom and what will happen with Rightside’s other domain registrar, Name.com, which it acquired in 2013 when Rightside was part of Demand Media. I am curious what will come of the relationship with NameJet, both on the buy and sell side since Tucows has a relationship with GoDaddy on its expiring inventory. I am also curious about how the Enom customer support and account management will change under new ownership.  These things will become more clear in the coming days.

Here is the announcement I received this morning:

NamesCon Sponsor Spotlight: Rightside


Rightside GroupNamesCon 2017 is less than a week away! In just a few short days, attendees from all over the world will begin arriving in Las Vegas for the largest conference of the year. Conference tickets are still available, so reserve yours today!

Today’s Sponsor Spotlight interview is with Matt Overman, Vice President and General Manager of the Aftermarket and Premium Domains at Rightside.

What is your company’s mandate; what sets you apart?

Rightside provides new personalized domain names and services that enable businesses, brands, and individuals to expand and personalize the way they tell their stories online. We partner with resellers, registries, registrars, and a wide variety of domain investors to build and grow their businesses. Essentially, we’re committed to significantly expanding the available digital real estate, and with a portfolio of 40 new TLDs, we offer something for everyone.

Who benefits from your product or service?

Everyone. Small businesses are often forced to choose a completely different business name when they discover that their .COM domain is already registered elsewhere. With new TLD options and services, these small businesses can keep their name and register a memorable and personalized domain without spending a fortune. Domain investors old and new alike are making money from investing in new TLDs and we’re focused on initiatives to make this easier and more profitable. If you’re online, Rightside can help make your life easier.

What factors have contributed to your company’s growth and success?

The creation of the new TLD program itself was extremely important. New TLDs have inspired a great deal of creativity from an industry that was perhaps not moving forward as quickly as it could have been. We’re seeing exciting new ideas and use cases, and it doesn’t hurt that there are so many developing countries that are in the process of going digital. Having a good team in place has made executing on our vision easier.

What’s the story behind how your company was founded?

Rightside spun off from Demand Media in August 2014. The spin off included Rightside’s legacy brands including Name.com and eNom.

How would you define your company strategy and vision?

Rightside Announces “Connecting the Dots” Webinar Series

Rightside GroupEducating prospective buyers is an important aspect of marketing the new domain names. Rightside announced a new educational webinar series called “Connecting the Dots,” to help educate people about the new domain extensions and how to use them.

In a blog post this afternoon, the company announced the first seminar in the series will take place on November 16, 2016. The title of the first seminar is “Everything You Need to Know About Buying Domains.” This will be a 30 minute session that starts at 10am Pacific time on the 16th. Rightside’s Sean Ottey and Jebidiah Burnett will lead this webinar.

The live event is limited to 50 participants, although a  video of the webinar will be made available following the seminar (uploaded by the 21st). The webinar is free to attend and it is open to anyone. Rightside has asked

What is the Right Number for Rightside?


Rightside GroupRightside has rejected Donuts’ $70 million offer for its new gTLD domain name extensions, the company announced in a press release this morning. I don’t think this is a huge surprise given the company’s focus on the new gTLD domain name extensions.

In announcing the rejection, Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu stated, “We believe Donuts’ proposal is an opportunistic attempt to acquire Rightside’s valuable portfolio of domain extensions with an undervalued price and in a manner that would not be in the best interests of Rightside shareholders.”

When the news of the offer was announced a week ago,

Poll: Should Rightside Accept Donuts’ $70 Million Offer?

The big domain name industry news last week was the revelation that Donuts made a $70 million cash offer to Rightside to buy the publicly traded company’s new gTLD domain name extensions. Within several hours after the news of the offer was announced, Rightside issued its own press release to announce that it would give the offer (and any other offers) due consideration.

I am curious about whether you think Rightside should accept this offer and sell its new gTLD extensions.  This decision is important because the company needs to do what’s right for its employees and shareholders now and in the future, and  the outcome of this  decision could  have a big impact on the company.

I am not asking if you think they will or will not accept the offer, but rather if you think they should accept the offer. Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts:

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