GoDaddy announced a major corporate acquisition in a press release this morning. GoDaddy will be acquiring Uniregistry, the company founded and operated by Frank Schilling. Uniregistry operates a Cayman-based domain name registrar and domain name brokerage platform. GoDaddy is also acquiring Name Administration, a related entity, which owns a portfolio of more than 350,000 domain names. GoDaddy is not acquiring Uniregistry’s domain registry, which operates 26 new gTLD extensions.
During the run up to this evening’s Super Bowl, Progressive Insurance ran a television commercial featuring its “employees” Flo and Jamie in the role as a waiter and waitress at a fictitious restaurant called Portabella’s. The Progressive Super Bowl advertisement caught my attention because of a generic domain name that was featured in it:
Towards the end of the commercial, you can see the Portabellas.com domain name prominently marketed. That caught my attention because I remembered seeing the domain name transfer very recently in my DomainTools Registrant Alert email from January 25, 2019:
One of the largest domain name sales of the year was just reported by Uniregistry. The three letter Eko.com domain name was reportedly sold for $1,500,000 last week. Once this sale is archived by DNJournal and NameBio, it will rank as the third largest publicly reported domain name sale of the year. It is also the largest sale of the year via Uniregistry’s brokerage team, ahead of the $300,000 sale of Joyride.com earlier this year.
Towards the end of August of this year, Uniregistry reported the $92,000 sale of Skew.com. The sale was the largest publicly reported sale of the week in DNJournal. It is also the 44th largest sale of the year (to date). Skew.com was acquired by a cryptocurrency data analytics firm called Skew.
This morning, it was reported that Skew raised $2 million in a seed funding round with several investors, including Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
Brokering domain names can be a tough gig. Even when a prospective buyer is interested in a particular domain name, getting a deal closed can be challenging. A domain broker may send dozens of follow-up emails in order to get a buyer to agree to a deal or to induce a reasonable counter offer. It may even take a while to get a response from someone.
It is always neat to see how domain brokers handle follow-up emails with prospects. I think Uniregistry has a pretty neat system in place to enable its clients and brokers communicate with prospective buyers. From what I have seen working with various Uniregistry brokers on purchases, they seem to have their own creative ways to get a response.
For those who don’t follow my Twitter account, I want to share how the persistence of Uniregistry brokers paid off and concluded with a domain name sale. The sale was small ($1,500), but it was an unexpected sale that I entirely attribute to the diligence of Uniregistry, particularly Chris Aguilar. The domain name I sold (which will not be shared) was one I consider inventory and nothing special to me.