Close, a company that had been operating on Close.io, recently announced that it acquired the brand match Close.com domain name. The purchase price and other details about the acquisition were not shared, but I think closing a deal on Close.com was a smart move for the company that is now known simply as Close. This slight branding change was made more possible because of its acquisition of Close.com.
Although details about the acquisition of Close.com were not revealed at the time the rebrand and domain migration was announced, the company just shared a blog post that has some revealing information from the perspective of a domain name buyer:
Just a few weeks ago, we announced our rebrand as Close and shared the news that we purchased the .com domain name. So, how did we do it? Using the power of the follow up for more than five and a half years.https://t.co/zOMoqT2MKM
— Close (@close) April 29, 2019
I think domain investors should read this blog post because it offers a glimpse into the buyer’s perspective about a domain name negotiation and the importance the acquisition would have on the company and its branding. Here are a few excerpts I found particularly informative as someone who regularly engages with companies that want to buy my domain names:
“It took five and a half long years of back and forth negotiations to get close.com.”
“A lot has changed since those early days. We’ve become a much more mature business with thousands of happy customers. And as the years went on, we acquired more customers and more people calling us “Close,” which is the name we’d been adopting internally as well.
Beyond just the benefits of properly aligning our brand with the .com name, we knew that owning this domain would illustrate to future customers that we’re here to stay for the long haul.”
“So, once per quarter, I’d ping the owner of the domain to check in and see how things are going with his startup.”
“We worked really hard to structure a deal that worked in everyone’s favor. That meant:
A very fair price that met somewhere in the middle from our last discussion
A payment structure that gave us a lot of flexibility around paying over time”
“But, at the last minute, we decided to pull out once the contract had already been sent to us.”
As a domain investor, here are some of my key takeaways from the Close.com acquisition:
- A domain name negotiation can last a long time.
- Buyer and seller need to work together to find a compromise deal that works.
- A payment plan can be a good way to bridge a financial gap.
- As a domain investor, if you reach out to sell a domain name, you may be in a poorer negotiating position.
- Even if a deal seems dead, it may come back to life.
- A domain name may be simply an investment for the registrant, but it represents something much bigger for the prospective buyer.